Precious metals plummet as Asian stocks tumble

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HONG KONG, Sept 15 — Asian stocks fell with US index futures, while crude oil and copper slid after factory and retail-sales data added to signs China’s slowdown is worsening. Australia’s dollar weakened to a more-than five-month low.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 per cent by 11am in Sydney, with Japanese markets closed for a holiday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.9 per cent as the Aussie retreated a sixth day. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell 0.4 per cent after the stock gauge dropped 0.6 per cent in the US Sept 12. Crude in New York and London sank at least 0.7 per cent, with Brent oil extending declines from a two-year low. Copper decreased 0.5 per cent in early London trading. The krona weakened as Sweden faced a hung parliament after elections.

Industrial-output growth in China—the world’s biggest base-metals consumer and Australia’s No 1 trading partner—was the weakest in August since the global financial crisis, with data Sept 13 also showing investment and retail-sales growth moderated. In the US, retail sales expanded at the fastest pace in four months, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve will signal a move toward raising interest rates in a meeting this week. India reports on wholesale prices today.

The Chinese data “is likely to see a downgrade in consensus expectations for China’s economic growth,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst in Sydney at CMC Markets, wrote in an e-mail. “The weaker than expected data has also rekindled expectations of further stimulus by China’s government. However, China is constrained by a need to rebalance its economy away from property- and credit-fueled growth and, as a result, market thinking is that any stimulus initiatives will be relatively limited.”

Output slows

Factory production in China rose 6.9 per cent in August from a year earlier, the statistics office reported at the weekend, down from 9 per cent in July and below the 8.8 per cent growth predicted by economists. It was the slowest pace outside the Lunar New Year holiday period of January and February since December 2008. Growth in fixed-asset investment slowed to 16.5 per cent, while retail sales expanded 11.9 per cent, trailing the 12.1 per cent rate estimate and easing from 12.2 per cent in July.

The data came after reports earlier in the week showed a second straight monthly decline in Chinese imports and a 40 per cent drop in the broadest measure of new credit. Growth in gross domestic product may ease to between 6.5 per cent and 7 per cent in the third quarter should data for September also be weak, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

The Kospi index in Seoul fell 0.6 per cent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was down 0.2 per cent.

Asian valuations

The MSCI Asia-Pacific gauge retreated 1.8 per cent last week, its worst performance since the five days to Aug 8. The gauge is trading at 13.7 times estimated earnings for member companies, down from 13.8 Sept 3, the most expensive valuation this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. MSCI’s All-Country World Index fell 1.4 per cent last week, halting a four-week advance.

Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.2 per cent in trading Sept 12, as Hang Seng China Enterprises Index futures declined 0.3 per cent, with the stock measure down 3.1 per cent last week, the most since March.

Brent fell 0.7 per cent to US$96.44 (RM308.36) a barrel after settling at its lowest level since June 2012 on Sept. 12, amid concern global fuel consumption is slowing while output climbs. West Texas Intermediate crude sank 1.3 per cent to US$91.09 today, after slipping 0.6 per cent Sept 12. The International Energy Agency cut its global oil demand forecast for 2015 last week.

Metals retreat

Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to US$6,801 a metric ton, following last week’s 2 per cent retreat. Nickel dropped 0.1 per cent to US$18,375 a ton in a fifth declining day, while zinc slipped 0.2 per cent to US$2,270.75 a ton.

Precious metals were also lower, with silver sinking 0.3 per cent to US$18.58 an ounce, extending last week’s 2.9 per cent decrease. Platinum lost 0.4 per cent and palladium fell 0.1 per cent, while gold was down 0.1 per cent to US$1,228.34 an ounce, close to its lowest price since January.

Wheat—which drove the Bloomberg Commodity Index to a five-year low Sept 12 with oil—fell a sixth day. Futures due in December declined 0.2 per cent to US$5.0175 a bushel, as corn and soybeans retreated at least 0.7 per cent.

Sales at US retailers climbed 0.6 per cent in August, the fastest pace in four months, while another report showed consumer confidence rose more than estimated.

Fed outlook

The Fed, which meets Sept 16-17, is considering the timing of rate increases and whether to revamp its public guidance on the path of rates. The central bank has said since March that interest rates would stay low for a “considerable time” after it completes a monthly bond-buying program that’s on track to end this year.

Yahoo! Inc rose to its highest level since 2006 on Sept. 12 after ALIBABA Group Holding Ltd received enough demand for its initial public offering that it plans to stop taking orders, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Yahoo is set to get an US$8 billion windfall from the IPO. The Bloomberg China-US Equity Index of the most-traded Chinese stocks in New York fell 0.6 per cent in a fifth day of declines.

Yields on 10-year US Treasuries rose for a seventh day Sept 12, adding six basis points to mark the longest slump in the bonds since June last year. Australian government bonds due in 10 years followed them lower today, with yields up five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 3.66 per cent.

Aussie, kiwi

The Aussie dropped as much as 0.4 per cent to US$0.90 today, after losing 3.6 per cent in the five days to Sept. 12, its worst performance in more than a year. New Zealand’s dollar, known as the kiwi, weakened 0.2 per cent to US$0.81 cents, after sliding 2.1 per cent last week, its biggest drop since October. The currency touched its lowest level since Feb 4 today. New Zealand also counts China as its biggest trading partner.

Emerging-market currencies in the region also depreciated, with the Korean won down 0.5 per cent to 1,040.65 per dollar. Malaysia’s ringgit slipped 0.3 per cent to RM3.2070 a dollar.

The krona weakened 0.4 per cent to 9.2622 per euro today after touching its weakest level since July 9. The three-party Social Democratic opposition bloc won 43.6 per cent of the vote in an election, versus 39.5 per cent for the government’s coalition, with 97 per cent of ballots counted. The Social Democrats must now garner support from other parties to form a majority.

‘Turbulent autumn’

“If there is potential to price in a risk-premium in the krona—the time is now,” Martin Enlund, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB, said by phone. “This is the scenario that would be most negative for the krona as it shows that forming a government can be tricky and take a long time. We could be facing a turbulent autumn.”

Sweden’s currency is down 10 per cent versus the greenback this year, the worst performer among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

The yen, regarded by some investors as a haven investment, was little changed at 107.32 per dollar after reaching as low as 107.39 on Sept 12, the weakest intraday level since September 2008. Japan is closed for Respect for the Aged Day. — Bloomberg

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1065 Pelabur Saman Genneva & Bank Negara 146m

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Kuala Lumpur : Seorang pedagang emas termasuk 1,064 individu memfailkan saman terhadap syarikat pelaburan emas Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd kerana memungkiri perjanjian jual beli emas menyebabkan kerugian lebih RM146 juta.

Murshid Meam Ghouse Musa Meam dan 1,064 individu lagi selaku plaintif memfailkan saman itu melalui Tetuan Raj, Ong & Yudistra di Pejabat Pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi, Isnin lalu.

Genneva-Gold-Signature-Campaign

Dalam saman itu mereka menamakan Genneva sebagai defendan pertama dan Bank Negara sebagai defendan kedua.

Berdasarkan pernyataan tuntutan, plaintif mendakwa mereka mempunyai tiga jenis perjanjian dengan Genneva iaitu pembelian produk emas (pembelian pertama), membeli dan menebus produk emas (pembelian seterusnya) dan menjual produk-produk emas (penjualan emas).

Dalam semua perjanjian itu Genneva didakwa gagal menyediakan produk emas dan membayar balik harga jualan.

Kerugian setiap jenis perjanjian masing-masing adalah sebanyak RM48,816,915; RM81,952,471 dan RM15,255,953.

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Oleh itu, semua plaintif memohon ganti rugi khas berjumlah RM146,025,339, emas dipulangkan dan perintah untuk mengarahkan Bank Negara menyerahkan emas dan wang kepada mereka.

Luar Biasa – Berlian Biru ditemui di Afrika

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Johannesburg: Seketul berlian biru yang jarang ditemui digali dari sebuah lombong di Afrika Selatan.

South Africa Blue Diamond

Permata 29.6 karat itu ditemui Petra Diamonds dilombong Cullinan milik syarikat itu yang terletak kira-kira 46 kilometer di timur laut Pretoria. Jurucakap syarikat itu memberitahu Stesen Penyiaran Britain (BBC), batu permata berkenaan paling luar biasa pernah ditemui di Cullinan sepanjang tempoh Petra beroperasi di lombong itu. “Berlian itu ialah permata biru terang dengan kejituan, kecerahan dan tona luar biasa. “Ia berpotensi menjadi permata utama yang bernilai tinggi,” katanya. Tahun lalu, Petra menemui berlian biru 25.5 karat yang dijual pada harga £10.3 juta (RM56.6 juta).
Penemuan terbaru itu juga dijangka meraih harga yang tinggi.

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Empat pegawai Genneva Gold Dihadapkan Dengan 900 pertuduhan!

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Empat pegawai atasan syarikat perniagaan perdagangan emas Genneva Gold hari ini dihadapkan ke mahkamah dengan 900 pertuduhan dibacakan kepada mereka, dipercayai memecahkan rekod pertuduhan terbanyak di negara ini.

Mereka dituduh di Mahkamah Sesyen Kuala Lumpur bawah Akta Bank dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan 1989, Akta Pencegahan Pengubahan Wang Haram 2001 dan Akta Perihal Dagangan 2011.

Dua bekas Pengarah syarikat Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd itu ialah Datuk Philip Lim Jit Meng dan Datuk Tan Liang Keat mengaku tidak bersalah di Mahkamah Sesyen Kuala Lumpur atas dakwaan membuat kenyataan palsu dalam iklan syarikat berkenaan dengan mengatakan bahawa pelaburan emas dengan syarikat berkenaan mengikut undang-undang Syariah.

Mahkamah memerintahkan kes itu disebut semula pada 28 Oktober depan dengan kedua-dua mereka RM20,000 setiap seorang. Mereka kemudiannya dibawa pula ke Mahkamah Sesyen lain untuk menghadapi pertuduhan lain pula.

Di Mahkamah Sesyen yang lain, Lim, Tan dan Datuk Lim Hah Heng dan Datuk Ng Poh Weng didakwa dengan enam pertuduhan menerima deposit tanpa lesen sah melalui satu skim perlaburan emas di bawah Akta Bank dan Institusi Kewangan 1989.

Keempat-empat mereka menghadapi dua pertuduhan setiap seorang di bawah akta itu. Mereka juga dijangkakan akan menghadapi 915 tuduhan pengubahan wang haram. Semua kesalahan itu didakwa dilakukan antara 10 Januari 2011 higga 1 Oktober 2012.

Pada 1 dan 5 Oktober 2011, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) menyerbu beberapa syarikat pelabur emas bersama anggota polis, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) dan Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan terhadap syarikat Genneva Malaysia, Pageantry Gold, Ceasar Gold dan Worldwide Far East Berhad.

Selain itu pada Muzakarah Jawatankuasa Fatwa Majlis Kebangsaan Bagi Hal Ehwal Ugama Islam Malaysia Kali Ke-100 yang bersidang pada 4-6 Julai 2012 telah membincangkan mengenai Hukum Jual Beli Dan Pelaburan Emas Yang Dijalankan Oleh Syarikat Genneva Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Muzakarah telah membuat keputusan seperti berikut:

      Pada 1 Ogos 2012 pula, Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM) membuat laporan polis di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Ampang ke atas syarikat Genneva Malaysia oleh tiga wakil persatuan Pegawai Kerja Mohd Mustaffa Hamzah dan juga Pengarah Latihan PPIM Dr Izham Nayan.
      Mohd Mustaffa atau lebih dikenali dengan Abang Muss berkata PPIM kesal dengan tindakan syarikat Genneva yang mengaku menjalankan urusniaga mengikut hukum syari’ah seperti dinyatakan di laman web mereka.
      Menurut beliau, laporan polis dibuat untuk menggesa pihak berkuasa bertindak terhadap syarikat Genneva Malaysia yang sewenang-wenangnya melakukan perbuatan berkenaan.
      Syarikat berkenaan turut didakwa mengambil deposit sebanyak RM5 juta tanpa kebenaran dari Bank Negara Malaysia. Lebih perit lagi, pelabur yang terlibat dalam urus niaga Genneva ini didakwa terdiri daripada orang kenamaan, syarikat dan yayasan serta tidak diketahui punca pendapatan mereka.
      Butiran terperinci mengenai kesemua 900 pertuduhan berkenaan masih belum diperolehi, laporan lanjut bakal menyusul tidak lama lagi.

Sumber: Mynewshub

Gold has its shining moment

Stocks are rising. U.S. home sales are recovering. The economy is rebounding. Maybe it’s time to hunker down and buy some gold.

Generally, I am not a big fan of the precious metal. A subconscious reaction against my 22-karat Indian roots? Maybe. But, being a rational CFA, I like to think it’s because gold is an inferior investment: no revenue, no growth, no dividends and no sensible way to value it.

But gold does have its moments. Last June, with gold around US$1,500, I argued in its favor, expecting trouble in Europe. It was the right call then and it could be the right call soon again.

Since breaching US$1,900 last September, gold has drifted lower and is now below US$1,650. Gold has fallen for the same reason it rose: Europe. As the continent lurched from one default crisis to another over the past nine months, gold followed suit. The latest lurch came as Greece negotiated to extend and soften the terms of its bonds. On February 29, when it was clear that Greece would not default for now, gold fell 5.3%.

But there are growing concerns about the economy looking ahead to mid-summer and beyond, and a little gold in your portfolio is the best insurance policy because it tends to be relatively uncorrelated to stock returns.

The biggest concern is inflation. Central banks in Europe, the United States and Japan have kept interest rates low and increased money supply. These so-called evil policies were necessary for Europe to avoid defaults and for the U.S. and Japan to re-start economic growth.

It is too soon to reverse these policies. Growth is still weak and vulnerable to shocks. Indeed, the U.S. Federal Reserve has said more quantitative easing is possible if the economy starts to wilt in the summer heat. Europe, with its economy is on the verge of falling into recession, has no choice but to maintain easy money and its own version of quantitative easing.

Even emerging markets are relaxing money supply in response to slowing growth. China, suffering a manufacturing slowdown, has allowed banks to increase lending. India and Brazil have done the same and also recently cut interest rates.

Since there is so much fresh money sloshing about the global economy, inflation could quickly push higher. That’s good news for gold. Unlike those useful bits of paper we use as a medium of exchange, the precious metal’s limited supply makes it a decent hedge against inflation.

But there’s still the problem of sensibly valuing gold. The “back-to-the-gold-standard” fringe equates the global economy to gold supply and pegs the price at US$14,000 an ounce. How about that as a way to handcuff monetary policy and drive us headfirst into the next depression?

Based on some reliable indicators we monitor, gold is nearing buy levels. A dip to the US$1,600 level would be a buying opportunity. As for potential growth, US$1,900 is a good year-end target, though it will likely drift until inflation begins to rise or some other trouble develops.