Markets

Is the commodity super-cycle turning?

Something went wrong with the commodity cycle during the year after the financial crisis of 2008, and that something may explain why the recovery took so long. Now there are reasons to believe that this time the commodity cycle is turning. That is good news for commodity importers everywhere –...Read More

We’ve got loads of oil

Shale gas and oil – -it is everywhere, or at least if feels that way. It is in Russia, and the US, China, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico. It is in Libya and Algeria, Pakistan and Indonesia. It is in Australia and South Africa, and, at the other end of...Read More

Posted Jun 11, 2013

FTSE 100 moves to within an inch of passing millennium high

For the record, the FTSE 100 peaked on December 30 1999 with a score of 6930. It then crashed, almost halving over the next few years. By the middle of the first decade of this century it was back in recovery mode, and by October 2007 hit 6721. Then it...Read More

Posted May 15, 2013

Are the stock markets set to crash?

Is it all based on a lie? The central banks in the US, the UK and Japan are creating money. They are going out and – via the mechanism known as quantitative easing – are buying government debt. This forces the price of government debt upwards, making other assets look...Read More

Posted May 15, 2013

Gold falls – some more thoughts

The recent falls in the price of gold have been a puzzle; contradictory forces are at work.

The main trigger for recent falls has been talk that Cyprus is set to sell gold holdings. Yet the rationale behind Cyprus’s move is that it is virtually bust, and usually when...Read More

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Oil down again: will the fall be more permanent this time?

It has happened before, and when it did oil bears said told you so. And then it rose back up again. Brent Crude oil has fallen below $98 for the first time since last July. At the time of writing, US Sweet crude oil is at $86.57, the lowest level...Read More

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Gold plunges, but are the falls justified?

There is something very contradictory about the fall seen in gold over the last few days.

As of Friday, gold was down 22 per cent from its highs set in the autumn of 2011, when it passed $1,999 a troy ounce. That was the worst bear run since the early 1980s.

Yesterday...Read More

Posted Apr 16, 2013

Food prices fall: is this the news the economy needs?

There is more than one theory to explain why the economy looks so miserable. Some look at debt, some look at lack of demand, others say it’s simpler than that. They say it all boils down to the price of energy and food.

This theory would suggest that the...Read More

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Cyprus sells gold: is this the end of the gold bull run?

Do you remember when Gordon Brown sold much of the UK’s gold reserves? Not a good move that, since the yellow metal soared in price soon afterwards.

Then again, back then gold was not fashionable. Keynes called it a barbarous relic, and for a while during the noughties, that...Read More

Posted Apr 11, 2013

FTSE 100 draws close to record, but is there really reason to celebrate?

The FTSE 100 finished Monday 11 March at 6503. That was a five year high, just 217 points off a decade high (set 31 October 2007), and 426 points off an all-time high (set 30 December 1999).

As an aside, it is quite interesting to note that the FTSE...Read More

Posted Mar 18, 2013

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