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Friday, February 29, 2008

TGIF -- News and Charts

The Ethanol Bust
...plans for as many as 50 new ethanol plants have been shelved in recent months, as Wall Street pulls back from the sector, says Paul Ho, a Credit Suisse investment banker specializing in alternative energy. Financing for new ethanol plants, Ho says, "has been shut down."Dollar Declines to Lowest in Three Years Against Yen on Fed `Indifference' The dollar fell to the lowest level in almost three years versus the yen on signs the Federal Reserve sees a weakening dollar as helping the U.S. economy.

Australian Dollar Rises to Highest in 24 Years; New Zealand Dollar Gains The Australian dollar rose to the highest level in almost 24 years and the New Zealand dollar headed for a third weekly gain on speculation the two nations' interest-rate advantage over the U.S. will keep widening.

Nigeria May Oppose Any OPEC Output Cut as Prices Rise, Oil Minister Says Nigeria may oppose any plan by OPEC to cut oil production when the group meets next week because prices are rising, Minister of Petroleum H. Odein Ajumogobia said.

India's Economy Grows at Slowest Pace Since 2005 on Reduced Winter Crops India's economy grew at the slowest pace since 2005 last quarter after dry weather conditions curbed winter plantings of food grains.

Wheat Futures Rally, Heading for Biggest Monthly Increase for 34 Years Wheat futures in Chicago rose and were heading for the biggest monthly gain in 34 years, as investors speculated the previous day's decline was overdone and a weaker dollar will boost exports.

Chicago Soybean Futures Rise to Records on Weak Dollar, Gains in Crude Oil Soybean futures climbed for a second day to a record, heading for the biggest monthly gain in three years on speculation the weaker dollar will boost exports and record crude oil prices will lead to increased demand for biofuel.

Nickel Rallies to Three-Month High on Steelmaker Buying, Strike; Tin Drops Nickel rose to the highest in more than three months in London on expectations of increased buying by stainless-steel makers and as workers at a Colombian mine owned by BHP Billiton Ltd. went on strike. Tin and copper fell.

Cotton Rallies to 4 1/2-Year High as Wheat Surges, Dollar Falls.
Cotton's 18 percent gain this month is ahead of the Standard & Poor 500 stock index, which is little changed. Still, it trails wheat's 31 percent increase, boosting speculation that U.S. farmers will plant less of the fiber in favor of grains.

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