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Monday, March 03, 2008

News You Can Use for Monday

Here is news that caught my eye this morning …


Credit Crisis Seen As Economic Threat

The cascading fallout from the subprime loan crisis, barely a cloud on the horizon a year ago, is now viewed by experts as the economy's gravest threat.

Auction-Rate Supply `Tsunami' Foreshadows Deeper Losses for Municipal Debt

Rates increased last month as investors shunned the securities on concern the insurers that guaranteed the debt may be downgraded, and as dealers refused to buy bonds that went unsold at auctions. The higher borrowing costs are squeezing states and towns just as slowing growth threatens to cut revenue.

XX Sean's note -- see my own take on this crisis HERE.


Russian Feb oil exports slump, output stagnates

Russian February oil exports slumped to the lowest level since 2004 as record-high crude export duties forced oil firms to re-route volumes to domestic refineries, while output stagnated for a second month in a row. Energy Ministry data showed on Monday that February oil production was 9.79 million barrels per day, almost unchanged from 9.78 million bpd in January, while pipeline exports to Europe fell to 3.99 million bpd from 4.28 million in January.

OPEC rethinking production cut plans

With high oil prices weighing on a struggling U.S. economy, the OPEC oil cartel is reconsidering plans to cut production this week, which could push prices above their current record levels. Instead, OPEC is likely to keep its output unchanged when its members meet Wednesday.

China Nuclear Power Capacity Rose 30% in 2007 on New Reactors, Daily Says China's nuclear power capacity climbed 30 percent last year to 9.07 million kilowatts as two new reactors began operations, China Daily reported, citing the Office of the National Energy Leading Group.


Gold Beats Financial Assets on Growing Global Distrust of Central Bankers

Investors are using metals to preserve their buying power as the U.S. dollar falls to a record and inflation accelerates. Gold, platinum and palladium may gain at least 30 percent this year as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke prioritizes cutting interest rates over controlling consumer prices

Copper Declines as China Inventories Gain, U.S. Spending Signals Slowdown Copper fell as stockpiles in Shanghai rose for a third straight week, and fresh signs emerged that a slowing U.S. economy may weaken demand for the metal.


Cotton Jumps to Highest Since 2003; Farmers May Opt for Soybeans, Corn Cotton futures surged more than 3 percent to the highest since October 2003 as soaring corn and soybean prices heightened speculation U.S. farmers will reduce fiber planting in favor of grain and oilseeds.

Soybeans Climb to Record in Chicago on China Demand Prospects; Corn Surges Soybeans and corn in Chicago advanced for a third day, reaching records on speculation the weaker dollar will boost exports and higher crude oil costs will lead to increased demand for alternative fuels. Wheat futures also jumped.

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