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CHARTS OF THE WEEK-QUOTES-QUICK HITS
-CHART OF THE WEEK: IMF Spots Trouble Ahead for the Global Economy After 2020. The International Monetary Fund predicted the world economy’s strongest upswing since 2011 will continue for the next two years but warned the seeds of its demise may have already been planted. The fund on Tuesday left its forecasts for global growth this year and next at the 3.9 percent it estimated in January and raised its outlook for the U.S. as Republican tax cuts take effect. Beyond that horizon, it was more pessimistic, projecting global growth will fade as central banks tighten monetary policy, the U.S. fiscal stimulus subsides, and China’s gradual slowdown continues. “Global growth is projected to soften beyond the next couple of years,” the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.
“Once their output gaps close, most advanced economies are poised to return to potential growth rates well below pre-crisis averages, held back by aging populations and lackluster productivity.” The IMF warned the expansion could be derailed if countries resort to tit-for-tat trade sanctions. “The first shots in a potential trade war have now been fired,” IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld said in a foreword to the fund’s outlook, reiterating the IMF’s warning earlier this month that the global trading order is in danger of being “torn apart.” “Conflict could intensify if fiscal policies in the United States drive its trade deficit higher without action in Europe and Asia to reduce surpluses,” he said. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2ETDIsc
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Fed’s Williams Says Inverted Yield Curve Powerful Recession Sign. John Williams, who takes the helm of the powerful Federal Reserve Bank of New York in June, played down risks the yield curve would become inverted as the U.S. central bank gradually raises interest rates. Speaking in Madrid Tuesday, the current president of the Fed’s San Francisco branch said a truly inverted yield curve “is a powerful signal of recessions” that historically has occurred “when the Fed is in a tightening cycle, and markets lose confidence in the economic outlook.” That is not the case now, he said. “The flattening of the yield curve that we’ve seen is so far a normal part of the process, as the Fed is raising interest rates, long rates have gone up somewhat but it’s totally normal that the yield curve gets flatter,” Williams said. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2J5eCcx
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Morgan Stanley Warns Markets the Best Times May Be Near an End. Investors need to prepare for downside as the end of the economic cycle is near and U.S. markets are priced for best-case scenarios, Morgan Stanley says. While fiscal stimulus is supportive of growth in the near term, the benefits are already likely “in the price” and increase potential downside for markets at the end of the cycle, Morgan Stanley strategists including Michael Zezas, Matthew Hornbach and Andrew Sheets wrote in a note Tuesday. They also said U.S. stock valuations peaked before the tax bill was enacted with a cyclical top for equities later this year, while peak margins and rate of change on organic earnings growth coming by late 2018 or early 2019. “There’s less reason to behave like it’s ‘morning in America’ than ‘Happy Hour in America,”‘ the report said. Markets are “closer to the end of the day than the beginning.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2vss3Bi
-CHART OF THE WEEK: China May Be Set for Rare Property Defaults, Neuberger Says. Chinese developers may be headed for rare defaults on their debts as rising interest rates make it harder to roll over record borrowings, according to one of the few foreign money managers selling local financial products to the nation’s investors. Smaller property firms might miss payments on bonds this year after the government’s leverage curbs pushed up borrowing costs, according to Neuberger Berman, which started its first onshore private fund this month for qualified investors, with a focus on fixed income. There haven’t yet been any defaults on publicly issued bonds from developers in China’s local market. “Smaller developers don’t have sound cash flows and can’t tolerate any halt in refinancing because of their high leverage,” said Peter Ru, chief investment officer of China fixed income at Neuberger Berman Investment Management (Shanghai) Ltd., a unit of the New York-based firm. “Weaker developers may face even higher borrowing costs.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qH8j7d
-Legendary hedge fund investor George Soros lost over 40 percent in just one day on a bet against Norwegian Air. Statistics reveal that Soros closed down the whole position following the huge loss. Businessinsider
-Statistics Canada today reported the biggest year-over-year increase in job vacancies since at least 2015 as open positions surged 23.2 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2017. Almost 70 per cent of vacancies were for full-time work. BNN
-“Gold and silver are the only safe investments to have, you can’t be safe in the stock market, and you can’t be safe in the bond market.” David Stockman
-Legendary investor Jim Rogers said enjoy the market rally while it lasts, issuing a dire warning that “the worst correction of his lifetime,” is coming for stocks. “Soon something’s going to happen that will make everyone happy again and the market will go up one more time, and that will probably be the last hoorah. Next year will be not a lot of fun,” Rogers said in an interview with Kitco News on Monday. He added, “It’s been ten years since we have had a bear market, that is very, very unusual so the next bear market is going to be the worst in my lifetime.” When promoted to quantify the correction, Rogers said it would easily be over 50%. Kitco
-The day of reckoning for over indebted Canadians might not be coming this week, but a new survey indicates a rising proportion of Canadians fear the fallout from higher interest rates. Thirty-three per cent of respondents to a survey conducted on behalf of MNP said they could be pushed toward bankruptcy due to rising rates that’s up five percentage points over the last six months. The Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times since last summer, taking its benchmark policy rate to 1.25 per cent. While investors see only a minimal chance (18 per cent) of rates going up another quarter percentage point this week, the survey results paint a worrying picture of how consumers will bear the burden as the cost of borrowing rises.
More than half of respondents to the MNP survey (51 per cent) said they fear higher rates will affect their ability to repay debts, 43 per cent of respondents admit to feeling the effects of already-higher rates and 29 per cent said they have no financial breathing room after paying monthly bills. “Nearly half of outstanding mortgages have interest rate renewals within a year so monthly mortgage payments are set to rise for a huge proportion of people. But a staggering percentage of Canadians say they already don’t have any wiggle room at all,” said MNP President Grant Bazian in a press release. “Households currently showing signs of financial difficulty and living on credit are about to fall into a debt trap if interest rates continue to rise or if they face an unexpected expense.” BNN
-Scott Hannah says low borrowing costs and rising home prices have lured Canadians into a debt trap they may not escape if looming economic threats materialize. Hannah, president of the Credit Counselling Society, is seeing an influx of clients as higher financing costs begin to bite and people find it harder to manage. Phone calls were up 5.3 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier, while online chats increased 40 per cent. He says with debt loads at a record and little in the way of savings to fall back on.
Canadians may be “caught off guard” if housing markets cool significantly or North American Free Trade Agreement talks go sideways. “We’ve been in a perfect storm for a number of years” where low interest rates encourage borrowing and discourage saving, Hannah, 60, said by phone from the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster. “People have been lulled into a false sense of security.” He’s sounding the alarm as rising interest rates and stricter borrowing rules threaten to squeeze households even further. The Bank of Canada is expected to raise its benchmark rate twice more this year and it’s next decision is April 18. BNN
-The number of Canadian homes sold in March plunged 23 per cent and the national average price was down 10 per cent from the same month last year amid double-digit plunges in most housing markets across the country, according to the latest monthly sales data released Friday. CREA said Friday the level of sales activity marked a four-year low for the month of March and was seven per cent below the 10-year average. Still, national home sales were up from the previous month by 1.3 per cent, according to CREA’s latest statistics. Sales prices are slipping too, with the national average price for all types of residential property down to about $491,000, down 10.4 per cent from March of last year with the Vancouver and Toronto markets causing most of the drag. Excluding Canada’s two most expensive real estate markets, the national average price would be $383,000 a decline of two per cent from March 2017. BNN
-A new survey shows that house prices fell in half of Canada’s key markets in the first quarter of this year from the previous one, but it also suggests the declines will likely be short-lived. Data from the Royal LePage National House Price Composite showed that the median price of a home in the country increased 6.2 per cent to $605,512 in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period a year ago. But the price also fell 0.3 per cent from the previous quarter. The declines were led by key markets in the Greater Toronto Area, where the median price fell 2.2 per cent from the last three months of last year to $802,252.
Eroding housing affordability and the impact of government measures introduced this year to restrict mortgage financing were the major reasons for the slump, according to the report. “We are experiencing a broad-based, residential housing correction in Canada, triggered by federal and provincial intervention,” said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage in the report on Friday. Condominiums across the country continued to see the highest price gains among all housing types surveyed by the study, rising more than 10 per cent from the previous year to $418,245. Condos in the greater Vancouver area saw the most significant price jump in the first quarter, increasing nearly 20 per cent to a median price of $668,342. Meanwhile, in the GTA, the median condo price rose nearly 12 per cent to $471,854. BNN
-Condo rents in the Greater Toronto Area have gotten pricier as it becomes harder to find vacant units amid strong demand, according to new data from the Toronto Real Estate Board. The data, released Monday, revealed the average rent for a bachelor apartment surged to $1,657 in the first quarter of 2018, a 10-per-cent-increase from the $1,507 average a year earlier. The price surge was even greater for one-bedroom condo units as rents rose 11.4 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter to $1,995 per month, while the average two-bedroom condo rent rose 9.1 per cent over the same period to $2,653. For GTA townhomes, the average bachelor rent climbed 29.4 per cent to $1,650; while the average rent for a one-bedroom townhome rose 10.5 per cent to $1,759 in the quarter. BNN
-A federal spending watchdog says it could cost federal coffers more than $76 billion a year to provide a national, guaranteed minimum income similar to the one being tested in Ontario. The parliamentary budget officer says the federal government would have to find about $43.1 billion to cover the full cost of the program because Ottawa already spends about $32.9 billion a year on support to low-income Canadians. A guaranteed minimum income often means different things to different people, but at its core it can be described as a no-strings-attached benefit that governments provide to citizens instead of various targeted social benefits. The budget office report released today estimates that annual payments under a federal program to eligible individuals would amount to $16,989, while couples would receive $24,027, before deductions for any income earned. More than 7.5 million people would benefit from the measure, the report says. The federal Liberals have been lukewarm to the idea at a national level, arguing that the Canada Child Benefit, among other measures, amounts to a guaranteed minimum income. BNN
-A bond fund manager who beat global peers over the past year is shorting the dollar on expectations economic growth outside of the U.S. will strengthen. The greenback will slip against most major currencies as nations from Japan to the U.K. see better growth, spurring higher rates in those markets, said Brendan Murphy, head of global and multi-sector fixed income at BNY Mellon Asset Management North America. Murphy, who manages the $1.1 billion Dreyfus International Bond Fund, is shorting the dollar in favor of long positions across currencies including the Japanese yen and Norwegian krone. “The U.S. dollar still looks expensive to us we’re in the early stages of a U.S. dollar-depreciating trend,” said Murphy. The yen is “very cheap” and could strengthen to 100 against the dollar by year’s end, he said. Bloomberg
-President Donald Trump nominated economist and professor Richard Clarida to serve as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman, the White House announced on Monday. Clarida will replace Stanley Fischer as vice chair if he is confirmed by the Senate. Fischer announced his retirement in September after serving as vice chairman for roughly three and a half years. Clarida is currently an economics professor at Columbia University and is a managing director at investment giant PIMCO. In addition to academic appointments, Clarida served as a staff economist on the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan from 1986 to 1987, as an assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury from 2002 to 2003, and as an adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1991 to 1992 and 1995 to 1997. Trump will also name Kansas Bank Commissioner Michelle Bowman to a spot on the Fed board. Bowman’s seat is reserved for a community banker or community bank regulator. Businessinsider
-A top Federal Reserve official said Monday that Wall Street and bank regulators run the risk of allowing another financial crisis to occur because many have forgotten the pain from the 2008 meltdown. Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, told an event at Howard University: “The shareholders got bailed out. The boards of directors got bailed out. Management got bailed out. So from their perspective, there was no crisis.” Kashkari, long an advocate of more stringent regulations to rein in major banks, said US labor groups, whose pension funds took major hits during the crisis, may have a role to play in countering the political influence of the nation’s largest banks. They have been campaigning, fairly successfully, to roll back many of the post-crisis regulations known as Dodd-Frank, which President Donald Trump has vowed to largely repeal. Businessinsider
-It started with a $105 billion blunder, and then it got worse. Someone at Samsung Securities Co., one of South Korea’s largest brokerages, was trying to pay employees 1,000 won (93 U.S. cents) per share in dividends under a company compensation plan. Somehow, they gave them 1,000 Samsung Securities shares instead. In total, the company distributed 2.83 billion shares, worth on paper about 112.6 trillion won. That was more than 30 times the company’s market value. The fact that the shares didn’t exist didn’t stop 16 employees from selling them. And that spurred a rout in Samsung Securities’ stock. It plunged as much as 12 percent in the space of minutes on April 6, the biggest decline since the global financial crisis. Many retail investors got burned. Then the recriminations started. People are angry with Samsung Securities. They’re angry with the employees who sold the phantom shares. And they’re angry with the government and regulators for the system that allowed people to dump stock they didn’t own and wasn’t even real. Bloomberg
-Bitcoin’s dog days are over, says one of the biggest cryptocurrency hedge funds. Pantera Capital Management, which has more than $800 million in assets, says $6,500 was the low of this bear market and Bitcoin will stay above that price for the majority of the next year, likely surpassing the previous record of almost $20,000, according to a note sent to investors Thursday. “For those who are new to Pantera who might think a fund manager like Pantera would always be saying ‘Today’s a great day to get long,”‘ wrote Pantera’s Dan Morehead and Joey Krug. “I rarely have such strong conviction on timing. A wall of institutional money will drive the markets much higher.” The fund, which started investing in Bitcoin in 2014, has only made three buy and one sell recommendations in seven years, the note said. The new call comes after Bitcoin crossed its 200-day moving average. Bloomberg
-Russia is using compromised computer-network equipment to attack U.S. and British companies and government agencies, the two countries warned in an unprecedented joint alert. The warning on Monday came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s National Cyber Security Center. It included advice to companies about how to protect themselves and warned specifically of attacks on routers, the devices that channel data around a network.
“Russian state-sponsored actors are using compromised routers to conduct spoofing ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations,” according to a joint statement. “Multiple sources including private and public-sector cybersecurity research organizations and allies have reported this activity to the U.S. and U.K. governments.” The main advice offered Monday for individuals and companies: Make sure that your router software is up-to-date and its password is secure. Bloomberg
-CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea a few weeks ago to meet Kim Jong Un in preparation for a possible summit with President Donald Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter. The visit is seen as a strong indication that a meeting between the two leaders could produce a deal on future relations with the isolated country. Kim is due to make the first trip to the south by a North Korean leader on April 27, with expectations mounting that the two countries that share the Korean peninsula could formally declare the end to war. Bloomberg
-Photos of the missile strike launched by the US, UK, and France on targets in Syria on Friday night appear to show Syrian defenses firing blindly and wildly missing. An expert told Business Insider that it didn’t look as though the Syrian missile interceptors flew the way they’d have to to intercept the cruise missiles. Syria says it knocked down 71 of the 105 missiles fired, but the US says all missiles hit their targets. Satellite photos appear to show that the missiles hit. Businessinsider
-Poloz Holds Rates, Sees More Room for Canada’s Economy to Grow. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is showing faith in the economy’s ability to prolong its current expansion without fueling inflation, in a decision Wednesday that kept interest rates on hold even as it raised the outlook for growth. The Ottawa-based central bank offered an upbeat assessment of an economic expansion that’s running close to capacity, and said borrowing costs will eventually rise. But policy makers indicated they are in no rush to thwart the expansion with rate hikes, particularly at a time when plenty of headwinds remain, such as trade uncertainties. The currency dropped and bond yields dipped slightly.
Poloz is trying to fine-tune a return of interest rates to more normal levels, hoping to raise them just enough to prevent inflation from creeping up, and not so quick as to trigger a slowdown. He’s already lifted borrowing costs three times in July, September and January and said Wednesday the pace of future hikes is now the key question for policy makers. “The economy is in a good place,” Poloz said at a press conference, citing inflation that has already reached the central bank’s 2 percent target. At the same time, “there is a long list of things that are in the background preventing the economy from getting all the way where it is today all by itself.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2J7oqTc
-Former Speaker John Boehner: Deficit will be ‘No. 1 issue’ in six months. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner said that the U.S. government deficit would become the No. 1 political issue in about six months. “As interest rates continue to get to a normal level, it’s going to have a huge whipsaw effect on the deficit,” Boehner told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” Boehner voiced support for the tax cuts but lamented President Donald Trump‘s decision to maintain spending on entitlements. “I have to believe it’s Paul Ryan‘s biggest disappointment as speaker,” he said. “Paul Ryan had a plan to balance the budget over 10 years.” Read more here-https://cnb.cx/2H63Dik
-The federal government has taxed and borrowed $4,474,356,967,081 since Tax Day 2017, according to statements published by the U.S. Treasury. That $4,474,356,967,081 in taxing and borrowing equals approximately $13,737 for each of the 325,719,178 people living in the United States as of July 2017. In 2017, the tax filing deadline was April 18. As of that day, according to Table IV in the Daily Treasury Statement, the federal government had brought in $1,668,245,000,000 in tax revenues. For the entire fiscal year, which ended on September 30, 2017, the federal government would collect $3,314,894,000,000 in taxes, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2vl3fLx
-The federal government collected a record $736,274,000,000 in individual income taxes through the first six months of fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 through the end of March), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today. The approximately $736,274,000,000 in individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in October through March of this fiscal year was $24,473,780,000 more than the $711,800,220,000 (in constant March 2018 dollars) that the Treasury collected in the first six months of fiscal 2017. While the federal government was collecting record individual income taxes in the first half of this fiscal year, both payroll taxes and corporate income taxes declined compared to last year. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2qDDvVF
-More than 1 million workers and retirees could lose their pension benefits within 20 years. Many of them were construction workers or truck drivers who belonged to a union and paid into pension funds set up to cover workers from multiple employers. But about 100 of these pension plans are expected to run out of money in the next two decades, according to a report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree that something must be done. A bipartisan committee headed by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown was created earlier this year with a mandate to come up with a legislative fix by November. “
A number of the country’s biggest multiemployer pension plans are approaching insolvency, which poses a threat of small businesses going bankrupt, retirees seeing their benefits cut, and taxpayers getting stuck footing the bill,” Hatch said in a statement. One big problem is that there are many more retirees than active workers participating in the plans. About 83% of participants in plans facing insolvency are already retired or have left their companies for other jobs. What makes things even more dire is that a government agency that normally steps in when a pension plan fails is also in trouble. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation expects its insurance program for multiemployer pension plans to run out of money within 10 years. CNNMoney
-Oil prices could rally to $100 a barrel if Middle East tensions ‘really kick off,’ analyst says. Oil prices could soon skyrocket to more than $100 a barrel amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, one oil analyst told CNBC Friday. Crude futures surged to highs not seen since December 2014 earlier in the week, underpinned by greater geopolitical uncertainty in Syria and elevated concerns over the prospect of imminent military action by Western powers. “I don’t think its unfeasible to see triple-digit oil prices at some point this year if things really kick off in the Middle East,” Anish Kapadia, founder and managing director of Akap Energy, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Friday. He added market participants had been “laughed out the room” when they projected crude futures to reach either $60 or $70 a barrel six months ago. But heightened tensions in the Middle East had since brought about the prospect of oil prices soaring to more than $100 a barrel later this year, he added. Read more here-https://cnb.cx/2HEgsBn
-Canada’s inter-provincial fight over Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain pipeline escalated as oil-producing Alberta threatened to cut off fuel shipments to neighboring British Columbia. Alberta on Monday introduced legislation allowing it to halt exports of oil and gas to B.C., ramping up pressure on the coastal province to drop its opposition to the pipeline expansion. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made clear she doesn’t expect to have to use the new powers, but wants to make sure the province has every available tool in its fight to ensure the Trans Mountain expansion gets built. The legislation comes a day after she and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to dissuade B.C. John Horgan from his battle against the C$7.4 billion ($5.9 billion) project. “Investor confidence, not only in the energy sector, but frankly across our economy, is at stake,” Notley told reporters in Edmonton, Alberta, on Monday. “We are very committed to putting pressure on B.C. to come around and focus on what this pipeline actually means.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qF84KO
-Shohei Ohtani Rookie Card Sells for $6,725 as His Memorabilia Market Soars. Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani has started his rookie season on fire, and the sports memorabilia world has taken notice. According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, an autographed Topps rookie card of Ohtani sold for $6,725 on Monday. “His autographed cards have tripled or quadrupled in the last two to three weeks,” said Rick Probstein, whose company was the one to sell the card on eBay, per Rovell. Bleacherreport
-Peter Morton Set to Sell Malibu Spread at Record Price. Word is starting to make its way down the ultra-high-end real estate gossip grapevine that Hard Rock Café co-founder Peter Morton reached an agreement to sell his spectacular oceanfront front spread on Malibu’s Carbon Beach to an unknown buyer for a mind melting and record shattering $110 million. So the story goes, Morton was not looking to sell the two-parcel property but the unsolicited offer, brought by powerhouse broker Stephen Shapiro at Westside Estate Agency according to a well-connected snitch, proved simply too good to turn down. Morton, who sold the Hard Rock Café chain in 1995 for $410 million and the famously raucous Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in 2006 in an all cash deal reported to net him more than $730 million, has owned the smaller of the two parcels since sometime before 1993 and records indicate he acquired the larger lot in 1998 for $3.5 million. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2vqhVZO
-Christies Magnificent Jewels, April 17 2018, New York City. Auction Results Here-http://bit.ly/2J4ttUv
-Lot 212: AN EXCEPTIONAL COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING. Set with a rectangular-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 3.09 carats, flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, ring size 6, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by report no. 5172772572 dated 19 August 2016 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense blue, natural color, VS1 clarity. Estimate USD 2,000,000-USD 3,000,000. Price realised USD 5,375,000. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HxAAaH
-Lot 167: A RARE COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING. Set with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy intense pink diamond, weighing approximately 8.42 carats, flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, ring size 6, mounted in platinum and rose gold. Accompanied by report no. 5161289963 dated 7 March 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense pink, natural color, VVS1 clarity; also accompanied by a working diagram indicating that the clarity of the diamond is potentially Internally Flawless. Estimate USD 4,000,000-USD 6,000,000. Price realised USD 5,037,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2vpx0uq
-Lot 100: AN EXCEPTIONAL TWIN-STONE COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING, BY CARTIER. Of crossover design, set with a pear modified brilliant-cut fancy intense pink diamond, weighing approximately 2.85 carats, and a pear brilliant-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, weighing approximately 2.42 carats, to the baguette-cut diamond shoulders and circular-cut diamond gallery, ring size 5 1/2, with French assay mark for platinum. Signed Cartier, no. HSS167, with maker’s mark. Accompanied by report no. 2195137499 dated 1 March 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense pink, natural color, I1 clarity. With report no. 2195137487 dated 28 February 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy vivid blue, natural color, VS2 clarity. Estimate USD 3,000,000-USD 5,000,000. Price realised USD 4,512,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HbG6kd
-Lot 99: A SUPERB TWIN-STONE COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING. Of crossover design, set with a pear brilliant-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, weighing approximately 2.10 carats, and a pear brilliant-cut diamond, weighing approximately 1.98 carats, flanked by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, ring size 5 3/4, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by report no. 2195127117 dated 6 March 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond, weighing approximately 2.10 carats, is fancy vivid blue, natural color, VS1 clarity. With a supplemental letter from the Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond has been determined to be a Type IIb diamond.
Type IIb diamonds are very rare in nature and contains small amounts of boron that can give rise to a blue or gray coloration. An unusual property of Type IIb diamonds is that they are semi-conductors and conduct electricity. Historically, the ancient mines of India produced occasional blue diamonds but today the most significant source is limited to the Cullinan (formerly Premier) Mine in South Africa. Among famous gem diamonds, the 70.21 carat Idol’s Eye and the 45.52 carat Hope are examples of Type IIb. With report no. 1196120023 dated 16 February 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond, weighing approximately 1.98 carats, is D color, VS1 clarity. Estimate USD 2,500,000-USD 3,500,000. Price realised USD 3,492,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HsBuWf
-Lot 209: A COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING. Set with a modified square brilliant-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 2.81 carats, with pavé-set diamond shoulders, ring size 6, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by report no. 2173744147 dated 16 August 2016 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense blue, natural color, VVS1 clarity. Estimate USD 1,000,000-USD 1,500,000. Price realised USD 2,172,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2H9QWD1
-Lot 71: A COLORED DIAMOND AND DIAMOND RING. Set with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond, weighing approximately 40.57 carats, flanked on either side by three tapered baguette-cut diamonds, ring size 6, mounted in platinum and 18k gold. Accompanied by report no. 2181469643 dated 9 January 2018 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense yellow, natural color, VS2 clarity. Estimate USD 800,000-USD 1,200,000. Price realised USD 972,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HbYLvY
-Lot 208: A COLORED DIAMOND RING. Set with a pear-modified brilliant-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 1.27 carats, ring size 6, mounted in platinum. Accompanied by report no. 5172743429 dated 1 August 2016 from the GIA Gemological Institute of America stating that the diamond is fancy intense blue, natural color, VS2 clarity. Estimate USD 100,000-USD 150,000. Price realised USD 696,500. See more here-http://bit.ly/2HcPyQa
-3-Carat Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Fetches $5.3 Million, Sets Record. A 3.09-carat rectangular-cut fancy intense blue diamond sold for more than $5.3 million, setting a world record price per carat for an intense blue diamond. The gem, which was set on a platinum ring flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds, sold for well above its high estimate of $3 million. It was the top lot at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale held Tuesday. The auction of 211 lots achieved more than $45.6 million, with 88% sold by lot and 96% by value. The sale was highlighted by fancy colored diamonds, colorless diamonds and signed jewels by JAR, Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. The other top lots are as follows.
A ring set with an 8.42-carat cut-corner rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy intense pink diamond, flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum and rose gold. It sold for just over $5 million, within estimates. A crossover ring set with a 2.85-carat pear modified brilliant-cut fancy intense pink diamond, and a 2.42-carat pear brilliant-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, further adorned with baguette-cut diamond shoulders and circular-cut diamond gallery set in platinum. It sold for more than $4.5 million, within estimates. A crossover ring set with a 2.10-carat pear brilliant-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, and a 1.98-carat pear brilliant-cut colorless diamond flanked by a tapered baguette-cut diamond and mounted in platinum.
It sold for nearly $3.5 million, within estimates. A diamond thread ring by JAR set with a 22.76-carat elongated oval brilliant-cut diamond within a diamond-set, two-tiered thread-work gallery and hoop, mounted in platinum. It sold for more than $2.7 million, within estimates. A ring set with a 33.46-carat rectangular-cut diamond, flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds mounted in platinum. It sold for nearly $2.3 million, beating its high estimate of $1.8 million. A ring set with a 2.81-carat modified square brilliant-cut fancy intense blue diamond with pavé diamond shoulders mounted in platinum. It sold for $2.1 million, besting its $1.5 million high estimate. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2HbRsjX
-Outside of the mainstream world of stocks and bonds, there exists an interesting cross-section of alternative assets that only really gain appreciation from a relatively small group of elite investors. These luxury collectibles things like fine wine, classic cars, rare stamps, colored diamonds, Chinese ceramics, and fine art are unquestionably fun to hold as investments and even to talk about. But do these alternative assets also perform as investments over time? Read more here-http://bit.ly/2vpZIvp
-Millennials are buying more diamonds than you think just not for other people. It’s wrong to suggest that millennials aren’t buying diamonds, according to De Beers Chief Financial Officer Nimesh Patel, because they’re spending a higher proportion of their income on jewellery than previous generations. Back in 2016 an article in The Economist magazine went viral after asking the question “Why aren’t millennials buying diamonds?” The article drew criticism from the millennial generation most of whom are unable to get on the property ladder, and are forced to rent into their 30s for wondering why they’re not buying a precious stone that is nowhere near being a necessity in life. “Maybe because they’re burdened with crippling student loan debt and can’t actually find a good paying job,” was among the most common responses, according to a Huffington Post article at the time.
Speaking to Business Insider last week, Patel called the idea that younger people aren’t buying diamonds a “fallacy” and said that demand among millennials (generally classed as anyone aged between 18 and 35) is actually pretty similar to, if not higher, than in previous generations. “There’s a slight fallacy here that younger people don’t want to buy diamonds,” Patel told BI over the phone. “Look at the facts. If you look at the millennials in our top four markets, they account for 45% of diamond purchases. That’s an impressive number.” “That is the same or higher proportion of diamond jewellery purchases as the generations that came before them when they were the same age.” The trend of millennials buying diamonds, Patel says, is even more impressive given that most have not yet reached what he calls “peak affluency” the point in one’s life where you have the largest proportion of disposable income.
“That’s despite the fact that millennials haven’t reached peak affluency. In fact they’re probably 10 years away from that peak. Again, compared to previous generations, that means that they’re probably spending a higher proportion of their total personal disposable income on diamond jewellery,” Patel said. Trends for diamond purchase are shifting however, Patel noted, saying that the millennial generation is more inclined towards what he called “self-purchase” of diamonds and diamond jewellery. Millennials are more likely to buy themselves diamonds to celebrate their achievements and successes, rather than for life events such as an engagement, than other generations. Read more here-https://read.bi/2HvHhKB
Gold to silver ratio at 80 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $25.00
Gold to silver ratio at 70 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $28.57
Gold to silver ratio at 60 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $33.33
Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00
Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00
Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67
Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00
Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33
-Silver’s Bullet. Hedge funds betting on the tarnish spreading should watch out. Someone is about to catch a bullet in the silver market. Commodity funds are betting that the metal is headed for a fall. The net short position that money managers have in Chicago silver futures touched a record 39,604 contracts earlier this month, coming back slightly to 36,417 in the most recent report out Friday. That’s equivalent to about 182 million troy ounces, or 5,663 metric tons. Meanwhile, the less specialist group investing via exchange-traded funds is taking the other side of the trade. Total ETF holdings in silver reached 665.4 million troy ounces Thursday, an eight-month high. There are some fundamental factors supporting a bullish outlook.
Mine supply, which increased for 13 consecutive years through 2015, fell for the second consecutive year in 2017, the Silver Institute, a producers’ group, reported last week. Industrial demand, which consumes about 60 percent of the world’s silver, registered its first rise since 2013, driven by increased use in photovoltaic cells. Jewelers and cutlers, which together account for another quarter of the total, each posted increases. The problem is with the balance of the market and that’s why the split between futures and ETFs is so significant. Investment demand for bullion bars and coins fell 56.7 million ounces, cutting that category by about a quarter relative to the previous year.
Exchanges and ETFs, which had deepened silver’s market deficit by taking about 130 million ounces out of circulation as inventory last year, drew down just 9.2 million ounces in 2017. In other words, silver’s supply side and demand from non-investment uses are both heading in a distinctly bullish direction but investors remain skeptical, keeping the metal in the range of $16 to $18 an ounce where it’s been trapped for the best part of two years. Could that strong bearish position in Comex silver be the sign of a change? A lot of money is betting that the next move for silver is down, but it’s already looking cheap. Silver has a reputation as the poor man’s gold, moving in tandem with its scarcer cousin.
So far this year, however, the two have moved in opposite directions, with the yellow metal up 2 percent and silver off more than 3 percent, at $16.6328 per ounce at publication time. The ratio between them, which had only broken above 80 briefly on three occasions in the past two decades, is back up at those levels again. That suggests either that the dynamics of the two commodities are changing, or that gold is overvalued, or silver is undervalued. As the stunning reversal of aluminum’s three-month decline last week demonstrated, commodity markets can go wild when bearish investors are caught short. Silver has been a more somnolent metal since the drama of its 2011 spike dissipated, but it could still shine. Those betting on the tarnish spreading should watch out. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2HeI2IM
-GoldCore: Silver Bullion Remains Good Value On Positive Supply And Demand Factors. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2HJMCLX
-KWN: The Silver Market Is Readying For One Of Its Greatest Upside Breakouts. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2HIGZNW
-KWN: Silver Shorts In Danger Of Getting Crushed As Massive Breakout Unfolds. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2HbfmvZ
-KWN: Egon von Greyerz, Forget Pullbacks, Silver Price Set To Skyrocket 46X. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2JYKY9R
-KWN: James Turk Just Said This May Cause The Price Of Silver To Skyrocket. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2HLrYuK
-An Interesting Anniversary. A year ago, I took the occasion of new appointments at the CFTC as an opportunity to try once again to persuade the agency to step up to the plate and address a silver manipulation that had been in place for more than 30 years. James McDonald was the newly installed Director of the Enforcement Division. I made the letter I wrote public http://silverseek.com/commentary/another-opportunity-16489. I made special note in my letter to McDonald of the role JPMorgan played in the silver manipulation since acquiring Bear Stearns, including that JPMorgan had never taken a loss, only profits every time it added new short positions in COMEX silver futures over the past ten years. Such a perfect trading record would be impossible in any market that wasn’t manipulated.
In addition to JPMorgan never losing, only winning whenever it added COMEX short positions, the bank had accumulated a massive amount of physical silver at prices it was responsible for depressing (by the way, JPM has added 100 million physical ounces over the past year and now holds 700 million oz). In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a word of what I wrote a year ago. I never heard anything from the agency or McDonald and don’t expect to. Regardless, I thought it might be instructive to see what transpired in the year just passed, with close attention to my allegations that JPMorgan had never taken a loss, only profits, by shorting COMEX silver contracts. How did JPMorgan fare over the past year I mean aside from the bank adding another 100 million physical oz on the cheap?
JPMorgan not only maintained its perfect trading record, it did so in absolutely spectacular fashion, with the past year being perhaps its best year ever in trading silver. On ten separate occasions, starting with McDonald’s first day on the job, JPMorgan managed to either add a significant number of net new COMEX silver shorts as silver prices rose or buy back those added shorts at a profit, never taking a loss. Keep in mind that the past year in silver was one of the least volatile, with no more than a three and a half dollars difference between the high and low prices ($15 to $18.50), making JPMorgan’s perfect trading record all the more impressive. Before presenting a table of JPMorgan’s silver trades over the past year, let me describe the filters that I used.
First, while I appreciate that many will rely on the data that I present as being factual, subscribers can double check what I present by reviewing articles I wrote over the past year and please ask any questions that come to mind. For dates, I will use the Tuesday cutoff for the closest COT report that corresponds with price. My data source is the COT report (and Bank Participation report) as I have recorded them along the way and wrote about at the time. Finally, I arbitrarily used a minimum of 5000 net contracts as the cutoff for monitoring changes in JPM’s net short position in COMEX silver futures. Keep in mind that there may have been a minor revision or two along the way as new Bank Participation Reports caused me to recalibrate JPM’s silver short position. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2J4hO8b
-I know many casual observers feel this silver manipulation can go on indefinitely, mainly because it seems to be in JPMorgan’s best interest to continue to rig the market. Not only do I understand those sentiments, I would also point out they come from what I’ve reported and introduced over the years. Let’s face it if I hadn’t drawn a bead on JPMorgan’s illegal activities and massive accumulation of physical silver, I can’t imagine who would have in my place. But this is not about me, it’s about what’s good for the crooks at JPMorgan. Every single time that JPMorgan illegally rings the cash register by adding paper short positions and then buying those added shorts back at lower prices and a profit, more come to see the obvious.
I am not talking about individual investors like you or me, I’m talking about the big boys, like Goldman Sachs and others. Sooner or later, JPMorgan’s running silver scam will attract serious competitors (and may already have). What has me so excited about JPMorgan’s activities in the new COT report is the early hint that it won’t add significantly to short positions going forward and is in position to buy back many more short contracts on a rally. That’s because of the very large raptor net long position. I fully expect that the smaller commercials will sell most, if not all of their long silver positions on the next silver rally. The only question is who will be on the buy side as and when prices move higher? As always the buyers can be assumed to be the managed money traders who are very light on the long side and short up the ying yang currently.
But the current set up also allows for something heretofore never seen, namely, an opportunity for JPMorgan to buy aggressively and close out a significant number of its existing and relatively small short position. The amazing thing is that if JPMorgan does absolutely nothing, neither buying nor adding new silver short positions, that’s enough to cause silver prices to explode. That’s because JPM has become the market controller of last resort in silver. It is in such a remarkably favorable position, by virtue of its massive physical position and relative small short position that if it, quite literally, keeps its hands in its pockets and does nothing on the next rally, silver will soon explode in price due to the lack of new short selling by JPMorgan. Silver analyst Ted Butler April 14 2018 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN
-That same question about JPMorgan or other commercials falsely inducing the managed money traders to load up on the short side of silver would elicit no similar doubts from me. I may not be able to tell you exactly how they did it (after all, I can’t see behind closed doors), but I do know that the prime beneficiaries of the extraordinarily large managed money short position are the commercials which have tried to buy every single managed money short contract sold.
Over the past month and months, no single commercial trader has bought more managed money short contracts than JPMorgan, making this crooked bank the prime beneficiary of the record managed money selling. While I can’t pinpoint what JPMorgan did to get the managed money traders to sell such large and unprecedented amounts of COMEX silver contracts, there is no way that the bank just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Things just don’t work like that in the real world.
What illegitimate role JPMorgan may have played in tricking the managed money traders to sell and sell short so heavily in COMEX silver may never be known, but that is very different from the fact that the managed money traders did sell and JPMorgan and other commercials bought. It’s what’s on the scoreboard that counts. And what’s on the scoreboard is not only the unprecedented large short position of the managed money traders, but the fact that the commercials rigged these traders into record short positions on such a shallow drop in price. Silver analyst Ted Butler April 7 2018 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN
-Sprott’s $8 Billion Fund Sees Jilted Gold Lovers Return on Trump. Investors who were burned by gold’s slump from a record are finally giving the precious metal a second look, thanks in part to uncertainty created by Donald Trump’s policies, according to a money manager overseeing about $8 billion in precious-metals-focused funds. Family offices and pension funds looking to protect their wealth are shifting back to bullion after exiting the asset class some five years ago, said John Ciampaglia, the chief executive officer of Toronto-based Sprott Asset Management, which manages C$10 billion ($7.9 billion). The metal’s appeal as a haven is being bolstered amid Trump’s shifting tone on issues including trade and military action in Syria, which have spurred volatility in equities, he said.
Bullion fell out of favor among investors when the precious metal entered a bear market in 2013. While prices have since rebounded, returning to a bull market about three years later, assets invested in gold are still way below their peak. Exchange-traded funds backed by the metal total almost $100 billion, compared with a record $150 billion in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Gold does play the role of a safe-haven asset historically and almost like an insurance policy,” Ciampaglia said in a telephone interview. “There are people going back to gold. It’s not stampede, but it’s a trickle.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2JUCKQa
-ETF Manager Renounces Emerging Markets to Pile Into Gold. What do you do when you’re sure global stocks are running out of gas, rising rates are about to pummel bonds and your models show the only emerging market worth a bet is India? You buy gold, of course. Fritz Folts did just that earlier this year after slashing his holdings of exchange-traded funds backed by stocks and cutting to zero his exposure to broad emerging-market ETFs, focusing instead on the U.S. and Japan. He says the positive growth momentum and favorable investor psychology that drove equities in 2017 diminished this year, and markets aren’t paying enough heed to the next round of U.S. Federal Reserve hikes. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2J5A0y6