Category Archives: Post

Chinese economy down 4%, US house prices still falling


Perhaps the most significant economic data to emerge yesterday was the four per cent contraction in Chinese electricity consumption in the first quarter, generally considered a better proxy for GDP growth than the official figures, and the 18.7 per cent drop in US house prices in March, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities.

These are what is known as hard economic data. Wall Street chose to focus its attention on the US Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index which it has successfully managed to talk up. US consumers are apparently less pessimistic about the future, which has some merit unless their perception is incorrect because they have been misled.

German confidence

It is the same story in Germany. The worse GDP decline since 1990, and yet suddenly confidence has picked up. German GDP fell 6.9 per cent in Q1, and exports by 9.7 per cent, worse than expected.

Then again Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday warned that his country faced a recession 50 per cent worse than in 1998. Presumably then Russians are now feeling more confident about the future. South Africa is officially in its first recession for 17 years. They must be dancing in the streets. So what is going on?

This just has to be human psychology and a response mechanism to bad news. At first there is a very nasty shock and depression. Then the mood lightens and perhaps it does not seem as bad as first feared. The danger then is becoming over optimistic about the future for no good reason.

That would appear to be where consumer confidence and stock markets stand right now. The problem is that when you think rationally there is nothing to be confident about. All that has happened is that the human mind has adjusted to worse conditions, which are still worsening but not quite as fast as at the start. This is not good news.

We have such puzzling situations. But, investments are also necessary. It is always questioned what can be other options to move on. There are auto trading robots in the cryptocurrency trading platform that can analyse the market and take smart decisions on our behalf. Bitcoin Code is one of the best.

Optimistic fallacy

If you now blithely behave as though nothing has happened and that things will inevitably get better then in the investment context you will put your money into the stock market, and then lose it when the truth inevitably returns to revalue the market. Or if you run a business you will carry on until your cash flow is completely exhausted.

Better to be a realist, observe those economic growth and housing figures and reflect on what it means for the outlook. Another bout of US foreclosures are expected to take house prices lower again this summer, and what do you think is happening to global demand for Chinese manufactured goods?

Have emerging markets entered a new bull market?


Templeton Asset Management chairman Mark Mobius has had a long, and at times successful career as a specialist in emerging markets. He says the next bull rally in emerging markets has just started. Should he be believed?

A Reuters report from Shanghai boldly claimed that Dr. Mobius ‘correctly predicted in December that emerging markets will rebound before developed nations’.

That might have been true for China, but Middle East investors have not seen a rally while developed countries have already enjoyed an upturn. Whether any of these rallies is sustainable is another issue entirely.

Gulf stocks up

The Gulf stock markets saw a modest rally of two to six per cent today, mainly on the back of higher oil prices in the wake of the Obama PR machine’s launch of the $500 billion toxic asset plan. That is nice to see but it is hardly a rally to speak of, let alone a new bull market.

Gulf economies are highly geared to the oil price, and there is a six-month time lag between oil price increases and an upturn in the general economy. It is a bit early to see if the Obama plan will turn out to be anything more than hot air, or more likely an expensive waste of US tax payers money.

But let us ask Dr. Mobius a simple question: how can the emerging markets lead the recovery in a year when the World Trade Organization forecasts that global trade will fall by nine per cent, its worst performance since the Second World War?

Trade catastrophe

Are we to imagine that stock markets have instantly discounted this trade catastrophe, and think better times must be around the corner? This is ridiculous, there is no reason to believe that life for business in emerging markets is not going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Then again the global financial system is still largely frozen. Even if, and it is quite a big if, the Obama bailouts succeed it will take several years to rev global trade up to the levels seen before the crash.

In the meantime, public companies will report losses, banks will make further write downs and asset prices decline further. How can emerging markets deliver a sustained bull market under these conditions? Dr. Mobius ought to know better after so long in the business.

Will oil and gold prices rise further with the Fed printing money?


Last week’s surprise move by the Federal Reserve to buy $300 billion in long-dated bonds and effectively start printing money brought a sharp fall in the US dollar, and a strong bounce in oil and gold prices.

Is this the story of things to come? Pimco CEO Bill Gross, the bond king says the Fed may need to expand its balance sheet from a projected $2-3 trillion to $5-6 trillion to get the economy moving again.

This is a slow motion process. The more immediate impact, apart from lowering the cost of borrowing, is a lower dollar. Then by 2011 or so Mr. Gross sees the return of inflation, and is buying inflation-protected bonds called TIPS – which also jumped in price last week.

Oil market

For Middle Eastern investors in particular this scenario has important implications for the oil market: a lower US dollar generally means a higher oil price. Remember it was dollar weakness that helped to drive oil prices to $147 last July, and dollar strength popped that bubble (see graph above).

But hold on a moment, how are stock prices going to react to quantitative easing or money printing by any other name? Last week the 20 per cent rally in the Dow Jones stopped and reversed on news of the Fed’s action.

The US stock market will be nervously watching statements this week for more detail of the Fed and Treasury’s plans. However, if you look at share valuations then they are back to the lows of 2003 and that hardly appears low enough for the profit depression now certainly ahead for major companies.

When markets go under such drastic revolutions, we have to be very cautious on our investments. We should seek other means of investments, just like the cryptocurrency to make use of the best in the economic world. We have well developed software systems like the Crypto CFD Trader to ensure profits.

Stock sell-off

Now what happens if shares sell-off again, perhaps in a probably not unjustified panic about the three-year outlook for profits? Then the dollar will rally, precisely as it did last autumn, because stocks will be sold for cash, increasing the demand for the dollar.

That would lower oil and gold prices, just like last autumn. So it might still be too early to go back into stocks, and even to abandon US treasuries. For there is another down leg in the stock market to endure before such a shift should be considered.

All the same, with inflation definitely on the horizon – albeit at some distance – oil and gold will eventually come out on top, and may not suffer as much in the next bear market down shift.

Fed starts printing money, gold up sharply


The surprise move to quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve yesterday caught the market unaware. The $300 billion bond purchase sent gold prices jumping $50 an ounce and must have given a few gold bears a nasty awakening.

Gold prices will surely now go higher as the market digests what the start of printing dollars means for the USA. The Bank of England started printing money a week earlier and its success in lowering yields perhaps encouraged the Fed to take this step into the abyss.

Inflation objective?

For an inflationary abyss is what opens up if these central banks have got their calculations wrong. Or is it that the central banks now think their banking systems are in such bad shape that a good dose of inflation is the only thing that will sort them out?

The Fed sent bond yields tumbling 0.5 per cent just as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street managed to accomplish. However, the US dollar also took a three per cent tumble, following the pound in yet another competitive global devaluation.

Bond holders gained capital value as yields fell but that gain was immediately eroded by the currency fall. Is this a pattern that we are going to see repeated with more and more printing of money via quantitative easing?

There really is no such thing as a free lunch in economics. Countries with massive budget deficits should be cutting expenditure, and not borrowing more.

Puzzled here are the common people due to these market influencers, inflation especially. Those who are active investors in the cryptocurrencies for example, have to take extensive strategic steps to plan their moves in the highly volatile market. But, auto trading robots such as the Ethereum Code have been a complete guidance.

Buying up your own debt is no more useful that swapping one credit card for another. It is nothing close to sound finance. It is the last act of desperation when there is nothing else left to do.

Inflation and debt

You do not need to be highly qualified in economics to see where this is leading. You flood an indebted banking system with money, you get inflation and the relative value of fixed debt goes down.

But this is not a magic bullet. You get inflation back in the system, and anybody on a fixed income becomes poorer as prices rise. If you are an investor your dollars become worth less, and eventually worthless.

That is why the gold price jumped yesterday. And it is going to go a lot higher as investors reach for a safe haven. Beware being left sat on cash when you should be owning gold and silver as a hedge against desperate actions by the central banks.

UAE federal structure handles crisis well


UAE stocks picked up yesterday on news that the UAE Central Bank is about to lower interest rates as a part of its strategy for handling the global financial crisis.

On the same day it was reported that Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is to convert $1.8 billion of federal government deposits into Tier II capital and that the Commercial Bank of Dubai is also converting $500 million of federal deposits in the same fashion.

Calm response

The calm and measured response of the UAE Central Bank to the global financial crisis shows federal institutions responding well to the slump in the world economy. The contrast with fellow GCC member Kuwait, with its current political chaos and bank defaults is notable.

UAE bankers say an even more comprehensive response is coming, in particular to address the imbalance between loans and deposits, a matter already highlighted by the Governor of the Central Bank in a recent speech.

This complicated is the world as far as the economic forefront is considered. Investments in such platforms also becomes difficult especially in the cryptocurrency arena. Auto trading robots such as the Bitcoin Loophole have been considered the best in terms of assisting in such tough market fluctuations.

If the UAE is serious about realizing the objective of becoming the region’s banking centre then this is exactly the right way to go about it, and bankers in London and New York will be taking note. It is only in a crisis that systemic strength is tested.

They will be watching the next steps with interest. It seems that far from disengaging from heavily indebted Dubai, Abu Dhabi is seeking a harmonious federal solution to the benefit of all citizens, and residents with employment.

Dream ticket

Harnessing the financial strength of Abu Dhabi to the commercial and entrepreneurial dynamism of Dubai sounds like a winning formula. This is the dream ticket that larger and more systemically challenged countries could only hope to emulate.

That said the UAE is hardly out of the woods entirely with oil revenues set to tumble by half in 2009 and the six-year real estate boom obviously over. Banks will need recapitalizing to meet the strain on their balance sheets and to assist customers through a very tough time.

But looking forward this could still prove to be a seminal moment in the emergence of the UAE federation into an admired, respected and again highly profitable business model.
Order online from this link

Allocated gold only for Dubai ETF

Filed under: Banking, Gold & Silver, UAE Stocks, US Bonds, US Dollar — peterjcooper @ 3:36 pm

images9The Nasdaq Dubai and World Gold Council launched its long awaited gold exchange traded fund today, which is both Shariah compliant for Islamic investors and 100 per cent backed by physical gold.

‘This is not a derivative product because it is 100 per cent backed by allocated gold held in London vaults by HSBC, and audited both by traditional and shariah auditors,’ CEO of the WGC Aram Shishmanian told ArabianMoney.Net.

Allocated gold

He said it was important to understand the difference between unallocated and allocated gold. ‘The Dubai ETF has allocated gold, so there is no third party between the metal and its owner. The ETF certificate is an entitlement to one-tenth of an ounce of gold.’

It is just similar to the cryptocurrencies being traded economically the world over. There are no intermediaries involved and the security is well ensured through cryptocurrencies. As it is a new concept to invest and earn in such platform, we have entrusted trading robots as the Crypto Code.

Trading under the ticker symbol GOLD, the new ETF is the first new launch on the Nasdaq Dubai this year, and the one-time 60 basis point charge is exactly the same as other existing ETFs.

Will this make the Dubai ETF sufficiently different to attract regional investors who already have the exchanges of the world at their finger tips?

‘We have launched a series of ETFs around the world and have always found that a regional product stimulates new demand,’ said Simon Village, executive director of Dubai Commodities Asset Management.

Dubai is a logical choice for the ETF as the financial hub of the Middle East and the regional ‘City of Gold’, handling around 20 per cent of the world’s trade in physical metal.

Good timing

‘It is an opportune time to launch in Dubai,’ said Mr. Shishmanian. ‘There is substantial latent demand from investors. Gold is a safe haven and protection against inflation and a weaker US dollar as well as a risk mitigator for investment portfolios.

‘Gold and bonds are the only asset classes to show a positive performance in the past 12 months. We are seeing a structural shift in gold as an investment immune from third party failures at a time of systemic risk in the financial sector.’

Only time will tell how GOLD on the Nasdaq Dubai is received but this regionally tailored product is likely to be considered as a low cost method of diversifying local portfolios at a time when very few asset classes offer much upside potential.

Bonds and dollar will crash after the Dow low!

Filed under: Banking, Oil Prices, US Bonds, US Dollar, US Stocks — peterjcooper @ 10:33 am

04_28_50-us-dollar-bills_webHow low can the Dow go in this bear market? Yesterday the index dropped to 7,114, a 12-year low, and there is no sign of a market bottom in sight. It was notable that almost all stocks tumbled without exception, so there was again no place to hide like last November.

Bank nationalization is the new fear on the street. Taking over bankrupt banks, stripping out the toxic assets and them returning them to public ownership is increasingly seen as a logical solution.

But it will annihilate shareholder capital, and the worry is that a legion of risk-averse state banks will not provide the entrepreneurial support to revive American business. Or more cynically, state banks will not offer loans that can be used to buy stocks and fire up prices again.

Oil and gold

At some point commodities and basic resources stocks are going to be a major buy. Gold and black gold look obvious beneficiaries from the near-panic global creation of paper money and inflation to come.

This has created a lot of commotion among the commodity traders after the recent fall in the price of crude oil.

The crude oil price on Qprofit System fall occurred because of an increase in the supply of crude oil. However this was without any extra demand created for this commodity.

If these stock prices continue to fall with everything else – due to automatic panic disposals of entire portfolios – then they will be the obvious buys at the bottom. But how long until we get there?

Wall Street is not known for its patience, but it does have a considerable capacity for self-delusion and hot air to support prices. There is also plenty of hot air coming from the new Obama administration and Americans love to talk.

However, there is nothing else to sustain price levels. Profit forecasts for the year ahead are still too optimistic, and the outlook is increasingly for big losses from major companies and low or no dividends.

Cash up

There is no reason to risk capital in equities at this point. Money is better taken out of the market and kept in cash or precious metals. Bonds have an increasingly toxic feel, for reasons of supply if nothing else, and will surely crash once stocks hit rock bottom.

The dollar is probably safe as long as the markets are selling down. But the moment markets hit bottom any investor with brains ought to be out of the US dollar whose crash, along with bonds, is inevitable, and actually the next part of the economic recovery cycle.

Bond holders need to be driven out of bonds and into stocks, and dollar devaluation will make US exports competitive again.
Order my book online from this link

Can Dubai get quickly back to growth again?

Filed under: Dubai Property, Marc Faber, UAE Stocks, US Bonds, US Dollar, US Stocks — peterjcooper @ 10:36 am

Order my book online from this link
Yesterday this blog explored the emerging market business cycles as suggested by Dr Marc Faber in his book ‘Tomorrow’s Gold’ and saw Dubai situated in phase five and entering phase six.

The real dilemma is looking forward to the next phase: phase zero. The last time Dubai came anywhere close to this phase was in 1999 with oil prices at $10 and local stock prices on the floor, at the tail-end of the Asian Financial Crisis.

The fear at that time contrasted with the much more modest business slowdown of 2000, and a quick resumption of growth back through the business cycle to our present position. Will it be the same again this time?

Phase zero

Certainly a long phase zero is a nasty business. Dr Faber identifies its characteristics as: flat per capita income; high unemployment; low capital spending; domestic instability; falling profits; capital flight; no foreign investment; hotels empty; stock market at a bottom base; stocks very undervalued; press very negative; credit tight; Swiss bankers give up.

Oil economies are perhaps a little different to this general model for all emerging markets. Capital spending is generally sustainable, and an exit of foreign guest workers leaves less scope for internal unrest.

Indeed, what is needed to quickly exit phase zero is also available. Dr Faber says it needs a ’spark’ or ‘catalyst’ to start the recovery cycle. For oil economies an upturn in oil prices is the usual catalyst, although the long stretches of low oil prices in the 80s and 90s should not be forgotten.

However, if you believe in a commodities super-cycle that began around 2000 then today’s oil price crash should not last long. The supply and demand economics of oil favor a higher price to encourage more oil exploration to replace dwindling reserves, which must sooner or later impact price levels.

It would also have an impact on all the markets in the financial sector, especially in foreign exchange and cryptocurrency market.  To save your situation, it is best you should take the help of automated software.  Our site will guide you through the entire process and benefits of choosing the trading software.

Oil is king

It should be no surprise to realize that recovery prospects in the region depend on oil prices. Dubai, as the regional logistics, commercial and financial capital takes about six months to feel an upturn in oil prices as it feeds through the orders pipeline.

But will the world’s economy get quickly back on its feet? That is a far more difficult question to answer. Clearly if that took several years, and not just until Q3 as some hope, then it would be bad news all round.

However, the global stimulus packages look hugely reflationary, and oil prices would surely be one of the first signs it was working. That would make buying assets associated with oil economies at this time a wise move, especially for those who can afford to wait a while.

January 27, 2009

Dubai in phase five of the business cycle

Filed under: Dubai Property, Hotels, Marc Faber, Media, Oil Prices, Travel, US Bonds, US Dollar, US Stocks — peterjcooper @ 10:34 am

Order my book online from this link
Reading Dr Marc Faber’s investment classic ‘Tomorrow’s Gold’ it is interesting to note how Dubai has moved into phase five of his seven phases of the emerging market business cycle.

The symptoms of phase five are: tight credit; falling consumption; profits collapse; stocks crash; real estate prices fall sharply; big players go bankrupt; companies issue bonds or shares to raise cash; hotel vacancies rise; unemployment up; brokers lay off staff; tourism declines.

Of this list Dubai has yet to see any big players going bankrupt, and emergency fund raising is in its early stages. But all the rest of the list apply. For what lies ahead then we need to turn to the description of phase six of the cycle.

Phase six

This comprises: investors give up on stocks; capital spending falls; interest rates fall; foreigners exit; currency weakens; press very negative; equity funds down 90%; hotels, flights empty; taxi drivers discuss how much they have lost; men go out for work in suits but sit in parks.

Dubai is not quite in phase six. But lower interest rates could be on the cards soon, and a weakening of the US dollar due to money supply growth is very likely. Job losses are clearly mounting but UAE labor law will not allow people to sit on park benches, they will go back to their countries of origin.

However, Marc Faber notes that the down cycle in emerging markets does not have to be very long, and he points to the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 90s which took a year to bottom out and a couple of years to start a recovery: phase zero.

Oil prices

In the oil-rich Middle East there ought to be considerable room for optimism about a similar early recovery on the back of higher oil prices. But that would still not seem to mean that phase six can be avoided. It just means that anybody buying assets in that period will not have long to wait to be rewarded.

No doubt many would argue ‘it is different this time’ in Dubai. However, as the great investor Sir John Templeton explained these are often the most expensive words in the English language for investors who believe them. It might be different this time but if you bet against history the odds are stacked against you.

New GCC single currency agreed, will it include gold?

Filed under: Gold & Silver, Inflation, Oil Prices, UAE Revaluation, UAE Stocks, US Bonds, US Dollar — peterjcooper @ 8:56 am

08-12-12-goldashxGulf Cooperation Council leaders yesterday concluded their 29th annual summit meeting in Muscat, Oman with a final approval for the creation of a single currency for the six-nation economic bloc, still targeted for 2010.

Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC and boasts substantial gold reserves. But whether gold will be included in the currency basket has not yet been decided.

Golden opportunity

GCC assistant secretary-general Mohammad Al Mazroui told Gulf News: ‘We first have to decide on the location of the Central Bank, then the Central Bank and Monetary Council will have to decide on the gold reserves for the Central Bank’.

The creation of the GCC single currency – likely to be known as the Khaleeji which means Gulf in Arabic – is a major gold event for two reasons.

First, the breaking of their dollar pegs by the Gulf Arab nations is clearly dollar negative. Secondly, any inclusion of gold either as a part of the monetary basket, or in the reserves of the new GCC Central Bank will create additional demand for the precious metal.

2009 deadline

The project is gathering pace, and no lesser figure than Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has directed that GCC economic integration committees speed up their work and complete the whole exercise by September 2009.

It is only a couple of months since a group of Saudi businessmen allegedly bought $3.5 billion worth of gold, believed to be the largest ever single transaction for the precious metal. Perhaps in 2009 it will be gold rather than local currencies which become of interest to speculators about monetary reform in the GCC.

Gulf countries are keen to break away from the link with the US dollar because it ties them to inappropriate monetary policies that exaggerate the boom-to-bust cycle in their economies.
Order my book online from this link

Peter Schiff says move to Dubai!

Filed under: Dubai Property, GCC Currency Union, Peter Schiff, US Bonds, US Dollar, US Stocks — peterjcooper @ 4:03 pm

047038378xReading Peter D. Schiff’s ‘Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets’ it was intriguing to see him become so frustrated with the US economy that he advocated emigration, at least for a few years.

‘If you are more adventurous, you might consider the nations of the Persian Gulf, such as Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, or the United Arab Emirates,’ he opined. ‘Flushed with petro-dollars and unburdened by taxes or regulation, the Arab world seems destined to reclaim a more prominent role in the years ahead.’

How prescient! Of course, clearly neither Mr Schiff or his proof readers have much knowledge of the region or they would know that Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates and not a separate nation.

The ADX is not used to know what the trend is but instead it is used to indicate whether the current trend is strong or is turning weak on Crypto CFD Trader. The indicator is used in the market when the market is trending since it lets you understand whether you should still hold on to your positions or sell them off.

That much any American reader ought to establish before jumping on one of the excellent new Emirates Airlines’ flights from the States and rushing into business in Dubai, and that is what he suggests, ‘if you’ve ever had any inclination towards entrepreneurial life.’ Well, at least buy a copy of my book ‘Opportunity Dubai’ before taking that advice!

Changing times

The problem is that Mr. Schiff’s world view – only completed this summer – already looks a bit out-of-date. His world then was one of high oil prices, a falling dollar and a US economic collapse isolated from the rest of the world.

What we now know is that high commodity prices insulated commodity producing countries from the sub-prime crisis until the summer. But once commodity prices collapsed – oil from $147 to $34 a barrel – so did these supposedly immune economies.

The city of Dubai’s financial market is 75 per cent down this year, among the worst performers and well ahead of the US decline of 40 per cent for the S&P. House prices in Dubai are down 40-50 per cent this autumn, far ahead of Main Street USA.

Dollar appreciation

The dollar’s devaluation also swung into reverse as capital markets imploded this autumn with a flight to quality and a recovery for the greenback. So much for the US devaluation trumpeted by Mr. Schiff. It is clear that other global economies are also in trouble, and Europe’s debt problem could be bigger than America’s.

However, Mr. Schiff’s free market prescription for US recovery: allowing lame ducks to die, bankrupting major corporations and banks and removing social security, has no chance of being adopted by President Obama.

On the other hand, a very vigorous shake-out is underway in the UAE with expatriate labor summarily dismissed with modest compensation, downsizing of major real estate projects, continued investment in major infrastructure schemes and a rapid reorganization of national debts.

In truth the UAE (and that includes Dubai) can manage something far closer to a free market solution to the economic crisis than the USA can ever hope to achieve. Perhaps Mr. Schiff is right Americans ought to move to the Persian Gulf countries.
Order my book online from this link