West Africa isn't known for its political stability – but events in this critical region threaten to throw the whole area into chaos, with profound political and economic repercussions. Currently, the two hotspots are the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The former only recently emerged from decades of brutal and intractable civil war, and that conflict… Read more.
Futures Industry News
Commodity prices have been on a steady surge for the past year – indeed, commodity futures investors did better than those in most other sectors across the span of 2010. Silver had a stand-out year, rising over 80 percent on the back of enthusiasm for precious metals that have industrial applications. Wheat, corn and soybeans… Read more.
The Ivory Coast is the world's primary supplier of cocoa beans – and its political turmoil is having a powerful effect on the global market for the chocolate base. The Ivorian Civil War ended in 2002, but the country remains perilously close to the brink of further violence. In October 2010, much-delayed elections finally took place.… Read more.
As 2011 begins in earnest, the threat of a global food crisis triggered by rising commodity prices and shrinking supplies seems more imminent than ever. Last year brought devastating drought and fires in the fertile, wheat-growing plains of Russia, flooding in Pakistan and a brutal spell of drought in Australia, and 2011 could be just… Read more.
The east coast of the United States may be blanketed in snow, but in corn, wheat and soyabean fields of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, the weather is scorching. A prolonged absence of rain is raising fears that harvests in these key agricultural nations will fall short of expectations, putting further pressure on a global commodity… Read more.
The rising price of key inputs is putting pressure on major entities in both the private and public sector, forcing regulators, officials, logistics managers and company executives to confront the fact that as the world returns to economic health, demand is once again outpacing supply. Important commodities like cotton, wheat, silver and oil have all… Read more.
Despite the recent rally in commodities – Reuters/Jefferies CRB index just hit its highest point since October 2008 – Jim Rogers, the investor and economist who made his name calling for a multi-year bull market in commodities, believes that the trade in real, tangible goods remains the way of the future. Reuters reported on his words… Read more.
As President Barack Obama appeared prepared to push forward a compromise on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and the federal government sold its $10.5 billion stake in Citigroup, stock index futures around the globe posted solid gains. Increased confidence in the labor markets, as measured by Milwaukee's temporary worker provider Manpower, Inc., also played a… Read more.
December began with a bit of Christmas cheer for the financial world – better-than-expected Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and rising employment figures stoked some optimism about the pace of the economic recovery. The November 2010 ADP employment report showed that private-sector employment rose 93,000 from October to November, the tenth consecutive month of gains… Read more.
Equities markets pulled back as the month came to a close on Tuesday, driven by renewed bond worries, falling home values and some negative corporate news. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices rose just 0.6 percent from September 2009 to September 2010, the smallest increase since January. Perhaps the most salient point was the European… Read more.