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November 20, 2022 – rdspinvestments

November 20, 2022

COP27 delivers climate fund breakthrough at cost of progress on emissions

COP27 delivers climate fund breakthrough at cost of progress on emissions© Reuters. Ministers deliver statements during the closing plenary at the COP27 climate summit in Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, November 20, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

(This Nov. 20 story has been refiled to fix spelling error in paragraph 10)

By Valerie Volcovici, Dominic Evans and William James

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – Countries closed this year’s U.N. climate summit on Sunday with a hard-fought deal to create a fund to help poor countries being battered by climate disasters, even as many lamented its lack of ambition in tackling the emissions causing them.

The deal was widely lauded as a triumph for responding to the devastating impact that global warming is already having on vulnerable countries. But many countries said they felt pressured to give up on tougher commitments for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order for the landmark deal on the loss and damage fund to go through.

Delegates – worn out after intense, overnight negotiations – made no objections as Egypt’s COP27 President Sameh Shoukry rattled through the final agenda items and gavelled the deal through.

Despite having no agreement for a stronger commitment to the 1.5 C goal set in the 2015 Paris Agreement, “we went with what the agreement was here because we want to stand with the most vulnerable,” Germany’s climate secretary Jennifer Morgan, visibly shaken, told Reuters.

When asked by Reuters whether the goal of stronger climate-fighting ambition had been compromised for the deal, Mexico’s chief climate negotiator Camila Zepeda summed up the mood among exhausted negotiators.

“Probably. You take a win when you can.”

LOSS AND DAMAGE

The deal for a loss and damage fund marked a diplomatic coup for small islands and other vulnerable nations in winning over the 27-nation European Union and the United States, which had long resisted the idea for fear that such a fund could open them to legal liability for historic emissions.

Those concerns were assuaged with language in the agreement calling for the funds to come from a variety of existing sources, including financial institutions, rather than relying on rich nations to pay in.

The climate envoy from the Marshall Islands said she was “worn out” but happy with the fund’s approval. “So many people all this week told us we wouldn’t get it,” Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner said. “So glad they were wrong.”

But it likely will be several years before the fund exists, with the agreement setting out only a roadmap for resolving lingering questions including who would oversee the fund, how the money would be dispersed – and to whom.

U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry, who was not at the weekend negotiations in person after testing positive for COVID-19, on Sunday welcomed the deal to “establish arrangements to respond to the devastating impact of climate change on vulnerable communities around the world.”

In a statement, he said he would continue to press major emitters like China to “significantly enhance their ambition” in keeping the 1.5 C goal alive.

FOSSIL FUEL FIZZLE

The price paid for a deal on the loss and damage fund was most evident in the language around emission reductions and reducing the use of polluting fossil fuels – known in the parlance of U.N. climate negotiations as “mitigation.”

Last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, had focused on a theme of keeping the 1.5C goal alive – as scientists warn that warming beyond that threshold would see climate change spiral to extremes.

Countries were asked then to update their national climate targets before this year’s Egypt summit. Only a fraction of the nearly 200 parties did so.

While praising the loss and damage deal, many countries decried COP27’s failure to push mitigation further and said some countries were trying to roll back commitments made in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

“We had to fight relentlessly to hold the line of Glasgow,” a visibly frustrated Alok Sharma, architect of the Glasgow deal, told the summit.

He listed off a number of ambition-boosting measures that were stymied in the negotiations for the final COP27 deal in Egypt: “Emissions peaking before 2025 as the science tells us is necessary? Not in this text. Clear follow-through on the phase down of coal? Not in this text. A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels? Not in this text.”

On fossil fuels, the COP27 deal text largely repeats wording from Glasgow, calling up parties to accelerate “efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”

Efforts to include a commitment to phase out, or at least phase down, all fossil fuels were thwarted.

A separate “mitigation work programme” agreement, also approved on Sunday, contained several clauses that some parties, including the European Union, felt weakened commitment to ever more ambitious emissions-cutting targets.

Critics pointed to a section which they said undermined the Glasgow commitment to regularly renew emissions targets – with language saying the work programme would “not impose new targets or goals”. Another section of the COP27 deal dropped the idea of annual target renewal in favour of returning to a longer five-year cycle set out in the Paris pact.

“It is more than frustrating to see overdue steps on mitigation and the phase-out of fossil energies being stonewalled by a number of large emitters and oil producers,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

The deal also included a reference to “low-emissions energy,” raising concern among some that it opened the door to the growing use of – a fossil fuel that leads to both carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

“It does not break with Glasgow completely, but it doesn’t raise ambition at all,” Norway’s Climate Minister Espen Barth Eide told reporters.

The climate minister of the Maldives, which faces future inundation from climate-driven sea level rise, lamented the lack of ambition on curbing emissions.

“I recognise the progress we made in COP27” with the loss and damage fund, Aminath Shauna told the plenary. But “we have failed on mitigation … We have to ensure that we increase ambition to peak emissions by 2025. We have to phase out fossil fuel.”

(This Nov. 20 story has been refiled to fix spelling error in paragraph 10)

Saudi Arabia’s Dar Al Arkan signs deal with Trump family for Oman project

Stock Markets 7 hours ago (Nov 20, 2022 02:55AM ET)

Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Arkan signs deal with Trump family for Oman project© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks by 40 Wall Street, also known as the Trump Building, in New York City, U.S., October 24, 2022. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Hadeel Al Sayegh

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian real estate developer Dar Al Arkan said it signed an agreement with former U.S. President Donald Trump’s company to use the Trump Brand for its $4 billion project in the Gulf state of Oman that includes a golf course, hotel and villas.

The regulatory statement issued on Sunday did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement with the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate around the world.

The Aida project, a joint venture with Oman Tourism Development Company, will include Trump residential villas, a hotel and a golf course built near Muscat and would take over a decade to complete, the Dar Al Arkan filing said.

Trump had handed control of the business to his sons while in office.

He enjoyed close ties with Gulf states during his tenure as president, including Saudi Arabia which has invested $2 billion with a firm of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and former aide, incorporated after Trump left office.

The Trump Organization has two golf properties in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East’s financial and tourism hub, in partnership with property developer Damac.

Trump, who has mounted relentless attacks on the integrity of U.S. voting since his 2020 election defeat, launched a bid on Nov. 15 to regain the presidency in 2024.

($1 = 3.7580 riyals)

Actor Michael J. Fox accepts honorary Oscar for Parkinson’s advocacy

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World 3 hours ago (Nov 20, 2022 03:06AM ET)

5/5

Actor Michael J. Fox accepts honorary Oscar for Parkinson's advocacy© Reuters. Actor Michael J. Fox accepts the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 13th Governors Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 19, 2022. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

2/5

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Michael J. Fox, who charmed audiences in 1980s TV comedy “Family Ties” and the “Back to the Future” movies, received an honorary Oscar on Saturday for advocacy work that has raised $1.5 billion for research into Parkinson’s disease.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a nerve disorder that causes tremors and other symptoms, at age 29. He later curtailed his acting career and founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help fund the search for a cure in 2000.

“It is humbling in the deepest way to stand here and accept your kindness,” the Canadian actor said on stage at the annual Governors Awards, where an A-list crowd of stars including Tom Hanks and Jennifer Lawrence gave him a standing ovation.

Fox said the hardest part about his diagnosis was “grappling with the uncertainty” and that he had kept his diagnosis private for years because “I didn’t know if an audience could laugh if they knew I was struggling.”

The Canadian actor, now 61, was given the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, and introduced by friend Woody Harrelson.

“He turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission,” the “Cheers” actor said.

Other recipients of the Governors Awards included prolific songwriter Diane Warren, whose songs have been featured in more than 100 movies.

Warren, 66, has been nominated for an Oscar for best original song 13 times but never won.

“I’ve waited 34 years to say this: I’d like to thank the Academy,” Warren said to applause on Saturday.

Also honored were Australian director Peter Weir, known for films including “Witness” and “Dead Poets Society,” and Euzhan Palcy, who became the first Black woman to direct a film for a major Hollywood studio with “A Dry White Season.”

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Trump snubs Twitter after Musk announces reactivation of ex-president’s account

Trump snubs Twitter after Musk announces reactivation of ex-president's account© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump on a smartphone and a lit window in the White House residence in Washington, U.S., January 8, 2021. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Illustration/File Photo

By Sheila Dang and Helen Coster

(Reuters) -Donald Trump on Saturday said he had no interest in returning to Twitter even as a slim majority voted in favor of reinstating the former U.S. President, who was banned from the social media service for inciting violence, in a poll organized by new owner Elon Musk.

Slightly over 15 million Twitter users voted in the poll with 51.8% voting in favor of reinstatement.

“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted.

Trump’s Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began accumulating followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10pm ET Saturday. Some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account on Saturday evening.

Trump had appeared less than keen earlier in the day.

“I don’t see any reason for it,” the former president said via video when asked whether he planned to return to Twitter by a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting.

He said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, which he said had better user engagement than Twitter and was doing “phenomenally well”.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter suffered from bots, fake accounts and that the problems it faced were “incredible”.

Musk first said in May he planned to reverse the ban on Trump, and the timing of any return by Trump was closely watched – and feared – by many of Twitter’s advertisers.

The billionaire has since sought to reassure users and advertisers that such a decision would be made with consideration by a content moderation council composed of people with “widely diverse viewpoints” and no account reinstatements would happen before the council convened.

He also said Twitter would not reinstate any banned users until there was a “clear process for doing so.”

But this week, Musk reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin, who had been banned for changing her profile name to “Elon Musk” which violated his new rule against impersonation without indicating it was a parody account. There has been no new information about process or the moderation council. 

NO REASON TO RETURN

A no-show by Trump could reduce concerns among major advertisers, who are already rattled by Musk’s drastic reshaping of Twitter.

He has halved the workforce and severely cut the company’s trust and safety team, which is responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation and harmful content.

These actions and Musk’s tweeting have pushed major companies to halt advertising on the site as they monitor how the platform handles hate speech.

On Saturday, Bloomberg reported Twitter could fire more employees in its sales and partnership divisions, citing unnamed sources, just days after a mass resignation of engineers.

If Trump returned to Twitter, the move would raise questions about his commitment to Truth Social, which launched on Apple’s App Store in February and Google’s Play Store in October. Trump has some 4.57 million followers on Truth Social.

Truth Social has been Trump’s main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting on the app regularly in May. He has used Truth Social to promote his allies, criticize opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.

His agreement with the company, however, opens the door for Trump to engage extensively on other platforms. Trump is obligated to give Truth Social a six-hour exclusive on any post – but is free to post “political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the vote efforts” on any site, at any time, according to a May SEC filing.

SNM Trading Over $4 After Surging Over the Last 24-48 Hours

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Cryptocurrency 13 hours ago (Nov 20, 2022 07:00AM ET)

SNM Trading Over $4 After Surging Over the Last 24-48 HoursSNM Trading Over $4 After Surging Over the Last 24-48 Hours

  • A project that was once believed to be dead has risen more than 20x.
  • SNM’s official website hasn’t been updated in a long time.
  • The project is currently ranked 218 in terms of market cap.

A crypto project that was believed to be dead, SONM (SNM), has surged 1,870.15% over the last 24 hours according to the crypto market tracking website, CoinMarketCap. As a result, the price of SNM stands at $4.02.

Compared to the crypto market leaders, (BTC) and (ETH), SNM’s price has strengthened against both leaders by 1,891.79% and 1,879.67% respectively. In addition, the price of SNM set a daily high at $4.63, and had a daily low at $0.1976.

The daily trading volume for the believed-to-be-dead project has also skyrocketed 20,946.91% over the last 24 hours – taking the total to $323,179,681. This statistic is the main indicator of how dormant the project was given the low trading volume.

Ranked at number 218 in terms of market cap according to CoinMarketCap, SNM’s ICO was launched in 2017 and its official website has not been updated in a very long time.

There is speculation circulating in the market that the meteoric rise in SNM’s price is potentially a result of contra trading involving stolen coins, or a lack of liquidity due to the withdrawal of market makers.

The latter will enable a trader to significantly push the price of a token up with a lot less capital than what is required for price movements of tokens with larger amounts of liquidity.

Daily chart for SNM/USDT Source: CoinMarketCap

As can be seen by the daily chart of SNM/USDT, the last 2 days have seen the price of SNM surge to almost reach an all-time high of $5 from a low of $0.1999 just before the move.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions, as well as all the information shared in this price analysis, are published in good faith. Readers must do their own research and due diligence. Any action taken by the reader is strictly at their own risk. Coin Edition and its affiliates will not be held liable for any direct or indirect damage or loss.

The post SNM Trading Over $4 After Surging Over the Last 24-48 Hours appeared first on Coin Edition.

See original on CoinEdition

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Energy & precious metals – weekly review and outlook

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Commodities 23 hours ago (Nov 20, 2022 07:06AM ET)

Energy & precious metals - weekly review and outlook© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com – “I advise you to enjoy the sun… It will be a sunny day, and it will remain so,” Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman quipped to a reporter as he walked toward the OPEC building in Vienna on the morning of Oct. 6 to open the first on-site meeting of the oil cartel and its allies since the 2020 outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Six weeks later, one wonders how much of a sunny disposition Abdulaziz is in over the oil market.

OPEC+ – the alliance that bands OPEC, or the 13-member Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, with 10 other oil producers steered by Russia – agreed at its latest meeting to slash production by 2 million barrels per day in order to boost Brent and U.S. crude prices that had fallen sharply from March highs.

Right after that OPEC+ decision, London-traded went from a low of around $82 a barrel to almost $100 within days (it hit almost $140 in March) and while New York-traded , the U.S. benchmark, rose from $76 to $96 (WTI was just over $130 in March).

But by Friday though, Brent had registered a six-week low of under $86 while WTI had gone beneath $77 (both benchmarks closed well off the day’s lows, although they had deep losses for a second straight week, with WTI’s latest weekly deficit being in the double digits).

The tumble came as oil bulls faced a perfect storm from an explosion of Covid cases in China, a fresh hawkish tilt by the Federal Reserve and easing supply worries.

All these were present even back in October when OPEC+ made the call for the 2 million barrels per day production cut – which, incidentally, was the largest reduction of its kind in two-and-a-half years (back in April 2020, the alliance executed a 10 million-bpd cut after the first major Covid-19 outbreak).

If these negative drivers had been in place all along, then what has changed? Basically nothing, except that China is – or fears it will be – experiencing Covid again just as it did three years ago.

From a macro view, China is battling coronavirus outbreaks in numerous major cities, including Chongqing and the capital Beijing, while it takes steps to try to ease the burden of its strict zero-Covid policy, which has caused severe economic damage and widespread frustration nearly three years into the pandemic.

For a more granular picture, several Chinese refiners have asked Saudi Aramco (TADAWUL:) to reduce December-loading crude oil volumes, two sources close to the matter told Reuters last week, as Covid restrictions and a faltering economy have weakened fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil importer. The refiners had reportedly sought to trim supplies for December by about half of the previous month’s level.

With all the negativity in the market, “could OPEC+ go even further [with production cuts] if the outlook continues to deteriorate when it meets again in a couple of weeks?” Craig Erlam, analyst at online trading platform OANDA, asked in an oil market commentary he issued Friday.

OPEC+ meets on Dec. 4 to review its production policy – just before the start of the Dec. 5 “price cap” on Russian oil, which is widely expected to be a market-boosting event for crude, given that the EU-G7 engineered initiative will theoretically lead to reprisals from Moscow.

U.S. President Joe Biden had even called the OPEC+ cut a “disappointment” that was “unnecessary” and said that there would be “consequences” for it (hinting at diplomatic and other political repercussions for long-time Gulf ally Saudi Arabia). As of Friday, the White House said nothing about the near 100% reversal of the oil market to October’s lows, despite the production cut having kicked in, in theory, over the past three weeks.

Some analysts think Saudi Arabia – the only nation with the perceived ability to hike and cut crude exports at its will – might not be able to go too far from November’s cut.

“Not so sure KSA has much of a hand to play,” Art Berman, an energy analyst said, referring to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He said the kingdom would probably be “more effective at flooding the market than starving it in the past”, adding that it was also “super-aware of maintaining its role as an honest & reliable supplier, unlike Russia”.

In another tweet labeled “Aramco Theater”, Berman played down state-owned Saudi oil company Aramco’s caution that world oil capacity remained at ‘extremely low’ levels – a reminder to the oil trade that crude prices should be correspondingly higher.

“The world should be worried’: Saudi Aramco…has issued a dire warning over ‘extremely low’ capacity,” Berman wrote mockingly. “It has been “extremely low” for the last decade except for the two years of COVID.”

Talk is also growing that the Group of Seven-European Union engineered Russian oil price cap-import embargo, which market bulls expect to lead to an even bigger crunch in global supply, will only result in a fleeting price rally.

“That’s because Russian barrels will likely get rerouted and not taken off the market,” said John Kilduff, founding partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital. “That’s exactly the wish of the U.S. and its allies – that Putin earns considerably less for the same volume of Russian oil floating around the market.”

Yes, things don’t really look that sunny for the Saudis, Russians, OPEC+, or even oil for the moment. But being one of the world’s most volatile and politicized commodities, don’t expect it to stay down for too long.

Oil: Market Settlements and Activity

Crude prices entered “contango” mode – a market structure that defines weakness – the first time since 2021 and finished with a weekly loss of as much as 10% as China’s Covid headlines, new hawkish signals from the Federal Reserve, and easing supply worries all came to a head for oil bulls.

The front-month December contract for the U.S. crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, did a final trade of $80.11 per barrel after officially settling Friday’s session at $80.08, down $1.56, or 1.9%, on the day. December WTI remained well below the $80 support level for much of the day, hitting a 6-week low of $87.62, before paring losses just before the close.

The front-month contract also traded at a discount to the January 2023 contract at one point. While the so-called contango difference between the contracts was meager, it represented a structural oil market weakness where buyers wishing to hold a position in WTI at the time of contract expiry would pay more to switch to a new front-month contract.

Meanwhile, the front-month January contract in Brent, the global oil benchmark, did a final trade of $87.74 per barrel after officially settling Friday’s session at $87.62 a barrel, down $2.16, or 2.4%, on the day. Like WTI, January Brent was also at a contango to February Brent earlier.

On a weekly basis, WTI finished down 10%, adding to last week’s deficit of nearly 4%. Brent was off 8.7% for the current week, after last week’s slide of 2.6%. In terms of contract lows, WTI’s session bottom of $77.23 and Brent’s intraday low of $85.81 both marked a trough since Sept. 28.

Oil Price Outlook: WTI

This is WTI’s second rejection from $93.50 highs in the past seven weeks since recovering from September’s $76 lows, noted Sunil Kumar Dixit, chief technical strategist at SKCharting.com.

“Also this is the 2nd breach of 100 week SMA of $81,” he said, referring to the Simple Moving Average in the U.S. crude benchmark.

Dixit said any recovery from the recent drop will be limited to within the $83-$87 range and need to breach $93, for a reversal to the north of the 90s.

He said WTI’s weekly Relative Strength Index at 40.6 is below neutrality at 50, while the weekly stochastic is at 18/50, advocating further declines.

“These put WTI’s immediate bearish targets at the 200-month SMA of $72.55, followed by the 50-month EMA of $71,” Dixit added, referring to the Exponential Moving Average.

Gold: Market Settlements and Activity

Could the naysayers to the gold rally be right again?

‘Fed superhawk’ James Bullard’s comments that higher-for-longer interest rates will be the only way for the Federal Reserve to effectively bring inflation back to its 2% target knocked gold off its near $1,800-an-ounce perch, sending the metal with other risk assets like oil and stocks lower for the week as the dollar rebounded from last week’s lows.

Bullion settled less than 1% down on the week and just about half a percent lower for Friday, keeping its $1,750-an-ounce support intact. But the market steam from last week that gave gold futures their best week in 30 months seemed to be evaporating, said traders.

U.S. benchmark December contract did a final trade of $1,752.00 after settling Friday’s trading down $8.60 at $1,754.40 per ounce on New York’s Comex.

For the week, it fell $15. Last week, Comex gold rose $92.80, or 5.5% – its most for a week in two-and-a-half years since a 6.5% jump during the week to April 3, 2020.

The of bullion, which is more closely followed than futures by some traders, did a final trade of $1,750.84, down $9.38, or 0.5%.

The , which pits the greenback against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, was up 0.7% on the week. It tumbled 4% last week on expectations that the Fed might opt for smaller-sized going forth — a notion Bullard virtually killed.

“I’m not really that bullish on gold anymore,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago. “Like most, I was expecting a clear break above $1,800. But that didn’t come, and it probably won’t after what Bullard said.”

U.S. inflation remains “unacceptably high” for the Fed to ditch jumbo-sized rate hikes in favour of only smaller increases, Bullard, who is president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, said Thursday.

“Thus far, the change in the monetary policy stance appears to have had only limited effects on observed inflation,” Bullard said in an analysis by the St. Louis Fed that debated the appropriate rate regime for the central bank after six increases since March.

Inflation, as measured by the , or CPI, expanded by 7.7% during the year to October, growing at its slowest pace in nine months. Prior to that, the CPI grew by 9.1% during the 12 months to June, its fastest in four decades.

The drop in the CPI came after the Fed added 375 basis points between March and November to rates, which were previously at just 25 points. Despite the central bank’s aggressive bid to get prices down, the CPI remains at more than three times the target of the Fed, which has vowed to bring inflation back to its 2% target.

Most economists, however, think the easing CPI will prompt the Fed to opt for a 50-basis rate hike in December, after four back-to-back increases of 75 basis points between June and November.

Bullard noted that the central bank’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, was seeking a future rate regime that would be “sufficiently restrictive”.

“While the policy rate has increased substantially this year, it has not yet reached a level that could be justified as sufficiently restrictive, according to this analysis, even with the generous assumptions,” Bullard said. “To attain a sufficiently restrictive level, the policy rate will need to be increased further.”

While Bullard did not specify what the future rate should be, he noted that there were currently ‘generous’ assumptions that favored a more dovish policy over a more hawkish one.

Bullard also said he would prefer rates to reach a peak of at least between 5% and 5.25% before a pause could be considered. Rates currently stand at a high of 4%.

On the question of disinflation, he said market pricing suggests this was likely to occur some time in 2023.

Analysts said Bullard, who has garnered the reputation of a Fed superhawk, had clearly knocked the wind out of gold’s sails.

“It seems bullion traders are listening to the latest Fed speak more so than stock traders,” said Ed Moya, analyst at online trading platform OANDA. “The economic data is telling the U.S. a mixed picture right now, but large parts of the labor market and factory activity resilience suggests inflation could be sticky next quarter, which could support the hawks at the Fed.”

Moya also said the path of least resistance for gold was lower and that could continue if the FOMC meeting minutes from November, due imminently, support the idea that December’s rate could still be hawkish. ​Comex gold got to as high as $1,791.80 on Tuesday, its highest since Aug. 12. It has given back about $37, or 2%, from that peak.

“The Fed will want to keep all tightening options available, and they will likely say that a half-point rate increase doesn’t mean they are at the end of their tightening cycle,” Moya added.

Gold: Futures Price Outlook

Gold’s strong rebound has paused before the monthly Middle Bollinger Band of $1,796 and daily stochastics are rebalancing from overbought areas of $97/98, as the need for momentum distribution arises, said SKCharting’s Dixit.

“This brings some price correction towards the support areas before a re-energized rally resumes with a main trend,” he added.

Dixit said a “Three Black Crows’ formation on December gold futures’ daily chart indicated further correction.

“Going into next week, a sustained move above $1,747 (the 50-week EMA on 4 Hours chart) can take gold to between $1,758 and $1,763,” he said. “Further trades above $1,763 can attempt a retest of the previous day’s high of $1,768, above which gold can resume its advance towards $1,780-$1,796-$1,803.”

But he also cautioned that a break below $1,746 could push gold down towards $1,735-$1,721 support, with the likelihood of a decline deepening to $1,712-$1,701 and $1,697.

“As the mid-term trend is bullish, buyers are likely to resurface and join the resumption of the bullish trend that targets $1,830-$1,850-$1,875 over an extended period of time,” Dixit added.

Disclaimer: Barani Krishnan does not hold positions in the commodities and securities he writes about.

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Third Japanese cabinet minister in a month resigns in blow to PM

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Stock Markets 1 hour ago (Nov 20, 2022 09:26PM ET)

Third Japanese cabinet minister in a month resigns in blow to PM© Reuters. Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Minoru Terada arrives at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s internal affairs minister resigned on Sunday in connection with a funding scandal, becoming the third cabinet member to leave in less than a month in a severe blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s already shaky support.

Kishida’s approval ratings have sunk after the July assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed deep and longstanding ties between ruling Liberal Democratic Party politicians and the Unification Church, a group that critics say is a cult.

Internal affairs minister Minoru Terada tendered his resignation to Kishida after media reports the premier was preparing to sack him. Kishida on Monday appointed Takeaki Matsumoto, a former foreign minister, to succeed Terada.

“The foundation of political commitment is the trust of the public,” Kishida told reporters after appointing Matsumoto. “As a politician I must secure the public trust by bracing up and inspecting my surroundings”.

A poll conducted over the weekend, before Terada’s resignation, found that only 30.5% of respondents approved of Kishida, down 2.6 points from a survey in October, Asahi TV said on Monday.

Just over half, 51%, disapproved of how he had handled the resignation of two previous ministers, Economic Revitalisation Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa and Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi.

Terada, under fire for several funding scandals, has acknowledged that one of his support groups had submitted funding documentation ostensibly signed by a dead person.

Kishida said he had accepted Terada’s resignation in order to prioritise parliamentary debate, including discussions on a second extra budget for the fiscal year ending in March.

Asked about the fact that three ministers have resigned since Oct. 24, Kishida said he would like to apologise.

“I feel a heavy responsibility,” he told reporters on Sunday.

Terada’s departure could further weaken the embattled premier, whose support ratings have remained below 30% in several recent opinion polls, a level that may make it difficult for him to carry out his political agenda.

After leading the LDP to an election victory days after Abe was gunned down on the campaign trail, Kishida had been widely expected to enjoy a “golden three years” with no national elections required until 2025.

Abe’s suspected killer said his mother was bankrupted by the Unification Church and blamed Abe for promoting it. The LDP has acknowledged many lawmakers have ties to the church but that there is no organisational link to the party.

A vast majority of voters also disapproved of Kishida’s decision to hold a state funeral for Abe, which took place at the end of September.

Yamagiwa resigned on Oct. 24 due to his ties to the religious group, and Kishida came under fire for what voters saw as his delayed and clumsy handling of the situation.

Further damage came from the resignation of justice minister YasuhiroHanashi in mid-November for comments seen as making light of his work responsibilities, specifically signing off on executions.

Hanashi and Terada’s resignations are likely to be especially painful because they were members of Kishida’s faction in the LDP.

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Malaysia’s Muhyiddin gains backing for PM bid after indecisive election

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World 50 minutes ago (Nov 20, 2022 12:42PM ET)

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Malaysia's Muhyiddin gains backing for PM bid after indecisive election© Reuters. Anwar Ibrahim and other Pakatan Harapan leaders hold a news conference regarding Malaysia’s general election results at Subang Jaya, Malaysia, November 20, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

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By Rozanna Latiff and Mei Mei Chu

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Malaysia’s former premier Muhyiddin Yassin secured backing from two political blocs on Sunday as he sought to form a new government after a general election produced a hung parliament, but he had yet to win the required majority.

Muhyiddin, of the Perikatan Nasional coalition, said he had won support from two regional blocs based in the island of Borneo. That would boost his alliance’s seat tally from 73 to 101 – still short of the required 112 majority.

“I am confident I will obtain enough support from lawmakers that will enable me to be appointed by the king as Prime Minister,” he said, without saying which other parties might back him.

Longtime opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, whose Pakatan Harapan coalition won the most number of seats in the election with 82, is also racing to win support from other groups.

The inconclusive election saw Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Barisan Nasional alliance suffer its worst electoral defeat ever, winning just 30 of the 178 seats it ran for.

It prolongs political uncertainty in the Southeast Asian nation, which has seen three prime ministers in as many years, at a time of slowing economic growth and rising inflation.

The instability reflects a transformation in a country that has been one of the most stable for decades in a region that has had its share of military coups, violent political upheavals, and insurgencies.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak, one of the Borneo regional blocs, said it was willing to work with Muhyiddin and the incumbent Barisan alliance to form a government.

Forming a government may require the involvement of Malaysia’s king, whose largely ceremonial role includes the power to appoint as prime minister a lawmaker he believes will command a majority.

On Sunday, the palace instructed the parties to each present the name of a lawmaker it thinks has majority by 2 p.m. (0600 GMT) on Monday.

RACE AND RELIGION

A record number of Malaysians voted on Saturday, and they rejected Ismail’s multi-ethnic Barisan coalition, led by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) which has long been the country’s dominant political force.

Race and religion are divisive issues in Malaysia, where the mostly Muslim Malays are the majority of the population, with sizable ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

A key winner in the election was the Islamist PAS party in Muhyiddin’s Perikatan grouping, securing the largest number of seats of any single party.

“I think what we learned here is that the country is more divided,” said Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani, deputy managing director at political risk consultancy BowerGroupAsia.

Mahathir Mohamad, 97 and Malaysia’s longest-serving premier, suffered his first election defeat in 53 years, losing his seat to the Perikatan alliance.

Muhyiddin became prime minister in 2020, but his administration collapsed last year, paving the way for Barisan’s return to power with Ismail at the helm.

If Anwar should become premier, it would be a remarkable transformation for a politician who, in the space of 25 years, has gone from Mahathir’s heir apparent to a prisoner convicted of sodomy and now a leading opposition figure. He denies the sodomy charges, saying they were politically motivated.

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With Black Friday ahead, investors look to U.S. consumer stocks

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Economy 9 hours ago (Nov 20, 2022 08:00AM ET)

With Black Friday ahead, investors look to U.S. consumer stocks© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 11, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) -As the most important shopping period of the year approaches, some investors are betting shares of beaten-down consumer stocks will benefit if inflation keeps falling and retail sales stay strong.

Consumer discretionary stocks, a group whose members run the gamut from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and automaker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc to retailer Target Corp (NYSE:), have been walloped by surging prices, with the S&P 500’s consumer discretionary sector falling nearly 33% for the year to date compared with a nearly 17% fall for the broader index.

Yet recent data has shown signs that inflation may be ebbing in the face of stronger-than-expected retail spending, raising cautious optimism that the economy could avoid a recession or experience only a mild downturn. Investors poured a net $1.05 billion into consumer discretionary stocks in the past week, the sixth-largest weekly inflows since 2008, data from BofA Global Research showed.

The upcoming Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and traditionally one of the year’s biggest shopping days, may give investors greater insight into the extent that consumers are opening their wallets.

“There’s some questions as to how strong the consumer really is, so this will be a tricky holiday season,” said Edward Yruma, an analyst at Piper Sandler. “Everybody is watching the strength of the consumer and so far the consumer has held.” Yruma is bullish on retailers Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:) and Target. He believes, however, it may be too early to bet on the sector as a whole since inflation remains high by historical standards while many on Wall Street fear the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy tightening may bring on a U.S. recession. To be sure, consumer stocks have had more than their fair share of woes this year. Target shares plunged on Tuesday after the company warned of “dramatic changes” in consumer behavior that were hurting demand. Amazon.com, the world’s biggest online retailer, said on Oct. 27 it was preparing for slower growth because “people’s budgets are tight” due to inflation.

The companies’ shares are down 29.6% and 43.5% year-to-date, respectively. While retail sales in October were strong, data suggests that subprime auto loan delinquencies are increasing and higher-income shoppers are starting to trade down, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) economists said in a note on Friday.

“The consumer has been a pillar of strength this year, but as rates keep rising and the labor market slows, consumers will have no choice but to pull back on spending,” the firm’s economists wrote. The bank’s analysts are underweight the consumer discretionary sector.

Others, however, see reasons to remain bullish – even in the face of a potential economic downturn.

“Recession fears are so priced in to this group,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group. “If we have a mild recession … they will do very well from here on out.” He is betting shares of retailers, hotels and restaurants will outperform the rest of the sector in the coming year.

Some companies’ lower valuations may also give investors wiggle room if the economy slows, said Bobby Griffin, an analyst at Raymond James. His firm has a strong “buy” on shares of Home Depot Inc (NYSE:), which are trading at a 15% discount to their historic forward price-to-earnings multiple.

“We’ve had this fear of inflation all year and the consumer has held up pretty well so far,” he said.

At the same time, signs of consumer strength could also be a red flag to the inflation-fighting Fed, bolstering the case for the central bank to push forward with the monetary policy tightening that has pressured markets and drained risk appetite this year.

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, believes signs that consumers are not being affected by rising rates could lead to a higher-than-expected peak in the Fed’s rate hiking cycle.

“We’re skeptical the worst is behind us,” he said.

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Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead

Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead© Reuters

By Noreen Burke

Investing.com — Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes will be the main highlight of a holiday-shortened week, with investors on the lookout for any indication that the pace of rate hikes may slow. The most important shopping period of the year kicks off on Friday in what will be a key test for U.S. retailers. The latest world economic forecasts from OECD on Tuesday along with global PMI data will give an important insight into the health of the world economy. Meanwhile, China may step up economic support measures and there are signs king dollar may be about to lose its crown. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

  1. Fed minutes

The Fed is set to publish the of its November meeting on Wednesday with investors eager for any sign that policymakers may be considering slowing the tightening process after hiking rates more rapidly this year than any time since the 1980s.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other policymakers have signaled that the central bank could shift to next month to avoid tightening more than necessary and sending the economy into recession.

At the same time, Powell has said rates ultimately may need to go higher than the 4.6% that policymakers thought in September would be needed by next year.

The economic calendar for the coming week also includes the , , for October and data for November.

  1. Black Friday

Against a background of soaring inflation and rising interest rates, a key test of consumer demand arrives on Nov. 25, when retailers launch “Black Friday” sales – traditionally one of the year’s strongest shopping days.

Recent data showed that U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in October, indicating that consumers may be on more solid footing heading into year-end. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Retailers have offered mixed results in the most recent earnings season. Last week, Walmart (NYSE:) raised its annual sales and profit forecast as demand for groceries was expected to hold up despite higher prices, while Target (NYSE:) forecast a surprise drop in holiday-quarter sales after warning of “dramatic changes” in consumer behavior that were hurting demand.

Amazon (NASDAQ:), the world’s biggest online retailer, said on Oct. 27 it was preparing for slower growth because “people’s budgets are tight” due to inflation.

  1. OECD forecasts/PMI data

The OECD will publish its latest forecasts for the global economy on Tuesday and this along with preliminary readings of business activity in November from a number of countries will give a snapshot of the health of the world economy.

The OECD’s most recent forecasts, made in September, already pointed to a worsening outlook for next year with the U.S. economy expected to fall into a recession.

PMI data from the , the and the U.S. on Wednesday may add to the gloom. In most European countries, PMIs are below the 50 marker that separates expansion from contraction.

Britain is already facing a lengthy recession. Eurozone economic growth has held up better than expected and labor markets remain relatively robust. But recession risks are still looming amid energy shortages and elevated inflation.

  1. Dollar past the peak?

The peaked at a 20-year high of 114.78 in September and has been falling ever since. With the currency on track to post its biggest quarterly loss since the second quarter of 2017 investors are now asking whether it has passed the peak.

The rise of the dollar has been a dominant trading theme of 2022, thanks to the Fed’s rapid rate hikes, giving the currency an edge over its peers among investors.

But analysts from Goldman Sachs said Friday that a dollar top would still appear to be “several quarters away,” noting it does not expect the Fed to embark on easing until 2024. It added that U.S. growth is not expected to bottom out soon.

  1. China

The Chinese central bank’s pledge to step up supportive policy measures should be on display on Monday, when key loan prime rates are set.

The People’s Bank of China is expected to keep key loan prime rates unchanged for the third straight month, with policymakers reluctant to drive the lower by further easing monetary conditions.

Authorities are looking for ways to prop up economic growth without triggering financial instability.

Other regional central banks will also be holding policy meetings during the week. The is expected to deliver a jumbo 75 basis point hike on Wednesday, while the Bank of Korea is seen tightening again, but possibly only by a quarter of a point.

–Reuters contributed to this report

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