Diamond market regaining sparkle — DeBeers sales up again

By analyst

By Cecilia Jamasmie

De Beers, the world’s No.1 diamond miner by value, reported Tuesday a 4.9% rise in sales during the third cycle of the year, compared to the previous period, on the back of a global recovery in diamond prices and demand.

The Anglo American’s unit said provisional diamond sales reached $580 million for the cycle ended April 3, compared with $553 million it gathered in the previous sales cycle, but lower than the $666 million the miner fetched in the third cycle of 2016.

The figure builds on previous results by De Beers, which in January recorded its biggest sale of rough stones in at least a year.

The fresh figures, said De Beers chief executive Bruce Cleaver, reflected “positive sentiment” from the company’s customers following the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in March.

After a cautious first quarter, diamond buyers are returning to the market, though trading is expected to slow down this month in April during the Passover and Easter holidays.

Dealers, however, remain optimistic following the Hong Kong show, the Rapaport April report shows. Companies are aware that market conditions continue to change, which will impact activity in the medium to long term, it notes.

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…read more

Source:: Infomine

The post Diamond market regaining sparkle — DeBeers sales up again appeared first on Junior Mining Analyst.

Top 50 biggest mining companies

By analyst

The world's 50 biggest mining companies

By Frik Els

Stock market capitalization converted into US dollar – currency and share price data as of April 3 2017. Sources: Bovespa, TSX, NYSE, JSE, ASX, SZSE, SHSE, LSE, Nasdaq, HKEX, TASE, RTC, BOM, BMV, WSE, NSE via GoogleFinance.

MINING.com and sister company IntelligenceMine’s ranking of the world’s 50 largest mining companies based on market value continues to show an industry in recovery.

At the end of the first quarter this year the top 50 companies had a combined worth of $842 billion. In total these companies’ added $258 billion in market capitalization over the past 12 months and a good fifth of those gains occurred in 2017.

As with any ranking, criteria for inclusion is a contentious issue. We decided to exclude unlisted and state-owned enterprises at the outset due to a lack of information. That of course excludes giants like Chile’s Codelco, Uzbekistan’s Navoi Mining which owns the world’s largest gold mine, Eurochem, a major potash firm, trader Trafigura, top uranium producer Kazatomprom and numerous entities in China and developing countries around the world.

Another central criterion was the depth of involvement in the industry before an enterprise can rightfully be called a mining company.

For instance, should smelter companies or commodity traders that own minority stakes in mining assets be included, especially if these investments have no operational component or not even warrant a seat on the board?

This is a common structure in Asia and excluding these types of companies removed well-known names like Japan’s Marubeni and Mitsui, Korea Zinc and Chile’s Copec.

Levels of operational involvement and size of shareholding was another central consideration. Do streaming and royalty companies that receive metals from mining operations without shareholding qualify or is are they just specialized financing vehicles? We included Franco Nevada and Silver Wheaton.

What about diversified companies such as BHP Billiton or Teck with substantial oil and gas assets? Or oil sands companies that use conventional mining methods to extract bitumen for that matter?

Or vertically integrated concerns like Alcoa and number three on the list Shenhua Energy which is a power and shipping company more than a coal miner.

Chemical companies are also problematic – should FMC Corp not be ranked because its potash and lithium operations are such a small part of its overall revenues and what about Albermarle? While the merger of Potash Corp and Agrium is still to close we included only Potash Corp on this listing.

Many steelmakers own and often operate iron ore and other metal mines, but in the interest of balance and diversity we excluded the steel industry, and with that many companies that have substantial mining assets including giants like ArcelorMittal, Magnitogorsk, Ternium, Baosteel and many others.

Let us know of any omissions, deletions or additions to the ranking or suggest a different methodology.

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…read more

Source:: Infomine

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Daily Market Wrap – Mon 3 Apr, 2017

By Cory Christopher Aaron – A blend between fundamental and technical analysis

A new guest to the show Christopher Aaron, Founder of iGoldAdvisor.com shares his views on the gold market. Christopher uses a blend of fundamental and technical analysis when looking at the gold sector so to avoid being stuck with one opinion during different market cycles.

Click here to visit Christopher’s website.

Download audio file (03_Apr_2017-Christopher-Aaron.mp3)

…read more

Source:: The Korelin Economics Report

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The Balance of Gold and Silver – Precious Metals Supply and Demand

By Keith Weiner

Orders of Preference

Last week, we discussed the growing stress in the credit markets. We noted this is a reason to buy gold, and likely the reason why gold buying has ticked up since just before Christmas.

Many people live in countries where another paper scrip is declared to be money — to picture the absurdity, just imagine a king declaring that the tide must roll back and not get his feet wet when his throne is placed on the beach — not real money like the US dollar.

Holding back the tides is serious business… apart from his odd obsession with the waves, King Cnut the Great, son of Sweyn Forkbeard, King of all England and Denmark and the Norwegians and of some of the Swedes, is reportedly known to historians as the most effective Danish King England ever had [PT]

It should be obvious, but we have seen much disinformation out there promoting the idea that the dollar is collapsing. Most of the time, most of these people buy dollars as the escape hatch from their native currencies.

They buy the dollar first, and gold (for now) is a distant second.

That leads to the question of silver. Do they buy silver in equal measure as gold, or is silver a distant second to gold, as gold is a distant second to the dollar.

Theory tells us that gold is more portable. It is much, much more portable. First, the same weight of gold is about half the volume of silver. A 1oz gold Maple Leaf coin (which is pure gold) is much smaller than a 1oz silver Maple.

And right now, the value of an ounce of gold is just about 70 times greater than the value of an ounce of silver. The math works out that the same value of silver is 126x more bulky than gold.

If you are paying for storage, that may be important. It sure is, if you are thinking you may need to carry it on your person. A gold bar worth $120,000 would fit in your trouser pocket (a bit heavy at 3kg, but you could do it).

That much silver would be almost 7 of those big bars which are the size of small loaves of bread. Each. All that silver would weigh about as much as two heavyweight boxers. Gold is also more liquid.

A cartoon from a time when even attempts to inflate the money supply via silver were considered dubious…[PT]

Fundamental Developments

What does the data tell us about demand for silver relative to gold right now?

We will look at that below in the only true picture of supply and demand in the gold and silver markets. But first, the price and ratio charts.

Prices of gold and silver – click to enlarge.

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. It moved down this week. Is it approaching a line of support?

Source:: Acting Man

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Valuable Insights from Around the Web – Mon 3 Apr, 2017

By Cory Gold Roundtable Webcast with James Rickards, Rick Rule, and Trey Reik on April 4th

This is a free webinar that our friends Jim Rickard and Rick Rule along with Trey Reik are hosting. Click the link below to sign-up.

The webinar is held on April 4th at 4pm EST.

I am planning on attending the first part before I have to run out to meetings. If you are free tomorrow I suggest signing up and listening in.

Click here to sign up.

…read more

Source:: The Korelin Economics Report

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Can Trump Dig Coal out of Its Slump?

Can Trump 'Save' Coal?
click to enlarge

Take a look at the 114-year history of the coal industry in West Virginia, the second-largest U.S. coal producer after Wyoming. Since shortly after World War II, the number of coal mining jobs has steadily decreased. In 2014, the state industry employed a little over 18,000 people, a far cry from the 125,000 it employed in 1948.

Interestingly, though, annual production levels since 1948 have remained within a 100-million-ton range. This suggests that, like fracking, better and more efficient mining tools and methods have offset the need for so many workers. More is done with less. It’s safe to say we can’t wholly blame regulations for the decline in coal jobs.

Growing Demand in Renewables

Also working against coal is the rising demand in renewable energy, specifically solar. This is reflected in the growing number of jobs in solar energy installation, to say nothing of solar manufacturing, project development, and sales and distribution. In 2016, more than 137,000 people were employed in solar installation in the U.S., compared to a little over 50,000 people in coal nationwide.

U.S. solar energy installation jobs now outnumber coal mining jobs
click to enlarge

According to the Solar Foundation, the industry accounted for one out of every 50 new U.S. jobs in 2016, the fourth consecutive year in which solar employment grew more than 20 percent.

As I’ve written about before, the surge in solar demand is a

Flanked by coal workers, President Donald Trump signed the American Energy Independence Executive Order last week, directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s signature environmental policy. Unveiled in August 2015, the plan is intended to reduce carbon dioxide emitted from U.S. power plants 32 percent by 2030. Because Trump cannot directly overrule this particular regulation, the EPA must come to a finding on whether it needs to be modified or repealed.

Shares of American coal mining companies jumped in response last Tuesday. Kentucky-based Ramaco Resources closed up more than 13 percent, with impressive gains also made by Cloud Peak Energy and Peabody Energy

As expected, the executive order prompted criticism from environmentalist groups and acclaim from business leaders and workers in the energy sector. Among the media outlets that heaped praise on Trump was the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, which wrote that the president “deserves credit for ending punitive policies that harmed the economy for no improvement in global CO2 emission or temperatures.”

I believe the editors make a valid point that Obama’s plan accomplished too little at too great expense. However, there are two points on which I might disagree with others

One, part of Trump’s goal here is to make America energy-independent, as the order’s name implies. Free of burdensome regulations, it’s believed, U.S. energy can be unleased, and we can become a net-exporting nation. The truth is that the U.S. has never been so energy-independent as it is now, even in the face of strict Obama-era rules and regulations. In January, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasted that, even with the Clean Power Plan in place, the country would be a net energy exporter by 2026. Trump’s executive order is unlikely to move that target significantly. And remember, thanks to fracking and the recent lifting of a 40-year ban on oil exports, the U.S. is now a net petroleum exporter.

Two, Trump’s efforts are seen as benefiting the coal industry the most, but I think there are greater forces at work than regulations, as restrictive as they’ve become.

Where Have All the Coal Jobs Gone?

To be clear, I don’t think anyone sincerely believes Trump can “save” coal or coal miners’ jobs. We can probably all agree, however, that he’s at least seeking a way for the coal industry to do what it can to compete with other forms of energy, including renewables and fracking. Coal might very well continue to lose share in the U.S. even after regulations are lifted. That’s fair. But it will be the free market making the choice to retire coal, not government officials.

It’s important to recognize that coal faces several challenges that deregulation won’t be able to block. For one, the fracking boom flooded the market with cheap natural gas, compelling many U.S. power plants to make the switch from coal to gas. Thanks to fracking, gas and oil production now outpaces coal production. By 2040, natural gas will account for 40 percent of U.S. …read more

Source:: Frank Talk

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An Introduction to the Money Market Instruments Inside Your Account

By Samuel Taube Here at Investment U, we mainly cover stocks, bonds, options and other capital securities. To be sure, these are important. They allow investors to grow their wealth, and help companies raise funds. But capital instruments only make up half of our financial markets. The other half is made of poorly-understood securities like commercial paper, short-term loans and CD’s. They’re called money market instruments, and our economy couldn’t function without them.

The money market is a highly technical and sometimes shadowy part of our financial system. In the simplest terms, it facilitates short-term borrowing and lending. These activities are essential to our way of life. A simple bank account couldn’t exist without them.

Yet the public is much less informed about money market instruments than capital market instruments. Let’s learn more about the obscure short-term markets that make capitalism as we know it possible.
What Are Money Markets?
Our economy runs on debt. Companies, governments and institutions constantly run into situations where they need more money than they currently have on hand.

Sometimes, market participants meet these financial obligations through long-term borrowing. To do this, they issue conventional bonds. But if you could only borrow money by setting up a multi-year payment plan, the economy would move a lot slower than it actually does. Sometimes, your company just needs to borrow a bit of cash until next month. Or tomorrow.

That’s where money market instruments come in. They’re short-term debt securities which mature in less than a year. And they’re sold over-the-counter, hence their relative obscurity.

Most investors only interact with these instruments through money market funds and accounts. They’re retail investment products which leverage the money market to earn a fixed interest rate. But in truth, the money market is much vaster.

An ordinary savings account earns interest because it’s tied into the money market. Banks are always lending eachother money with short-term securities called promissory notes. They use these loans to cover day-to-day expenses like payroll. And they pay them back with a small but fixed amount of interest. It’s called the overnight rate, and it’s set by the central bank.

That’s why this system is called the money market. It’s where your bank deposits live.

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Investing in Money Market Instruments
Given the fixed returns and short turnaround on money market instruments, you might be tempted to buy them yourself. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to do that.

Money markets are designed for lending between banks, governments, and other large institutions. They trade extremely high-denomination securities which aren’t accessible to most individual investors. And since they trade on informal OTC exchanges, most brokers aren’t equipped to deal in them.

One exception to the inaccessibility of money market instruments is treasury bills. “T-bills” are short-term U.S. government debt notes. They range in value between $1000 and $5 million. You can buy them directly from the government through auction sites like TreasuryDirect.

As we mentioned earlier, you can also access money markets indirectly through special mutual funds and accounts. These give you a piece of the fast-paced action. But like other broad-market …read more

Source:: Investment You

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This One Move Fixes All Your Trading Woes

Candlestick

By Greg Guenthner

This post This One Move Fixes All Your Trading Woes appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

If you make just one simple change to your stock charts, you will instantly improve your trading profits.

How can you pull off such a miraculous feat?

You’re about to find out…

What I’m about to show you doesn’t require any special skills. Heck, you don’t even need to do any math to make this quick change. Your computer will perform all the heavy lifting for you.

All you need is a candle.

No, I’m not saying you need to light a candle and pray (although let’s face it, you could probably use it). I’m saying you need to learn how to read candlestick charts if you want book consistent, double-digit trading gains.

I know many investors who aren’t familiar with candlestick charts are intimated by the bedlam of lines on the page. But once you understand the basics of candles, you’ll be able to instantly absorb all the relevant information on any candlestick chart. More importantly, you’ll be able to use that information to perfect your buys and sells. That means siphoning more money out of the markets.

Why use candles instead of a simple line chart? It all comes down to information. On a daily line chart, the closing price is plotted. That’s it. It’s not a problem if you’re only interested in the overall trend. But if you’re planning a trade, you want as much information as possible. That’s where candlesticks come into play.

Candlestick charts not only show you the closing price of a given stock—but also its opening price, its high of the day, and its low of the day.

Take a look at this example:

Depending what website you use, the charting program might display bullish and bearish candles in different colors—so keep that in mind before venturing off on your own. Typically, candles with green or white bodies are for bullish days, while red candles signify bearish days.

Now, as you can see, these candles convey a lot of information—even with just a quick glance. There are two parts of the candle you need to be able to identify to properly understand how valuable these charts are. They are the shadows and the real body.

Why are these important?

For starters, the shadows show you the daily range, which gives you a lot more context than just the open and the close. For instance, a candle with a long upper shadow indicates that the stock rose to higher levels during the trading day—but gave back much of its advance before the close.

In contrast, a bullish candle showing no upper shadow and a long real body tells you that the move higher is extremely strong, with the stock closing at its highs without a significant retreat.

Then there are candles with no real body at all. These occur when a stock opens and closes at the exact same price. They’re called dojis – and they signify indecision from buyers and sellers. Dojis can even have very long upper …read more

Source:: Daily Reckoning feed

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The One Investment Technique That Beats Growth… and Value

By Alexander Green I recently spoke to a neighbor who is filled with despair about his investments.

Despite the roaring bull market of the last eight years, his portfolio has performed poorly. In fact, his net worth is no greater than it was a decade ago.

“I seem to have a real knack for doing the wrong thing,” he confessed. “I’m completely in cash now. I’ve finally realized I’m never going to beat those sharks on Wall Street.”

This defeatist attitude is woefully out of touch with reality. The truth is individual investors have never had it better than they do today.

Your investment choices today have never been greater. Spreads have never been thinner. Fees have never been lower. Trade executions have never been faster. Monitoring your portfolio has never been easier.

Plus, it’s much simpler to manage your own portfolio than billions of dollars belonging to tens of thousands of investors. This is particularly true thanks to the internet.

Thirty years ago, I wrote research reports for an international brokerage firm. This generally required multiple phone calls to investment banks and trading houses where I coaxed, cajoled, wheedled (OK, begged) other analysts to send me what I needed.

When the information arrived – usually days later – it required follow-up calls to update the data. But by the time the reports were printed and mailed out to clients, the information was old news anyway.

The web changed all that.

In short, you have all the tools you need to succeed. Yet many investors still lack the most crucial ingredient of all: the winning investment ideas to take advantage of this.

After all, growth stocks sometimes fail to grow. Value stocks can become (ahem) better values. Takeover candidates may receive no takeover bids.

There are as many ways to fail on Wall Street as there are ways to succeed. That’s why I keep coming back to the one technique that offers the highest probability of success – in good markets and bad.

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I’m talking about riding the coattails of knowledgeable insiders.

Who are the insiders, exactly? From a legal standpoint, they are the officers who run a company and the directors who sit on its board.

These individuals have access to all sorts of material, nonpublic information. For instance, they know about…

The direction of sales since the last quarterly report
New products and services in development
Plans to expand or cut costs
The status of pending litigation
Whether the company has gained or lost any major customers
Whether there are any planned mergers or acquisitions…

And plenty of other good stuff that is unavailable to those of us on the outside looking in.

That’s why the SEC requires corporate insiders to file a Form 4 within two business days of any purchase or sale, detailing the number of shares they bought, when and at what price.

If you want to be a better investor, you need to know what these insiders are doing.

Even when corporate fundamentals are checkered or poor, if the insiders are buying heavily, it is often a sign that a stock is set to surge …read more

Source:: Investment You

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