Global Investing

Commodities hedge funds feel the heat

September 4, 2008

rtx7ukh.jpgThe heat is on for hedge funds with commodities bets.

Earlier this week Ospraie Management told investors it is shutting its flagship fund after it plunged 27 percent in August. The fund’s energy and commodities stock positions fell as investors worried if a global economic slowdown will mean less demand for resources.

Barrels and ounces

September 2, 2008

The price of oil was falling sharply on Tuesday after traders stopped worrying about former Hurricane Gustav’s winds, but by at least one calculation it remains very pricey – that is, its link to the price of gold.Some market watchers argue that there is a long-term relationship between the prices of the two commodities. Roughly speaking, this theory would have 10 barrels of crude oil costing the same as one ounce of gold.  Back in March, for example, gold hit a record of $1,030 an ounce and a barrel of oil brought around $105.Oil

Using terrorism to gauge oil’s impact

August 18, 2008
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Steelmakers show industrial Germany is weathering downturn

August 14, 2008

steel2.jpgIt’s not all doom and gloom — just ask steelmakers.

Germany’s ThyssenKrupp and Salzgitter have both raised their profit forecasts, fuelled by demand from fast-growing China, India and Russia. Profits are soaring on sky-high prices for rolled and flat steel.

Water, water everywhere

August 12, 2008

British water companies announced a plan earlier this week to
increase household water bills by up to 4.5 percent above
inflation between 2010 and 2015.

European industry feels the heat of high oil prices

June 27, 2008

Castle Cement furnace

European industry is suffering under soaring energy costs. Profit warnings are becoming more common and industry leaders predict plant closures and job losses may follow.

Nerves of steel as regulators probe iron ore

June 25, 2008

iron-ore-graphic.gifAre steel companies really hurting from huge rises in the price of raw materials like iron ore? The biggest miner BHP Billiton reckons they aren’t and hopes to sway anti-trust regulators who are reviewing its takeover bid for rival Rio Tinto.

Growth in oil futures outpaces oil consumption

June 6, 2008

oil_graph1.gif

Here’s a look at the average daily volume of oil futures on the NYMEX expressed in terms of global consumption of oil. As the chart makes clear, the number of paper barrels traded every day on the NYMEX is now over three times the number of actual barrels consumed every day worldwide. On Friday, as oil surged to a record $139 a barrel, the volume on the NYMEX was over 5.2 times average daily consumption. The chart gives some indication of the boom in oil and commodity futures in general.