IMF talks about selling gold again


By Christopher Swann
Bloomberg News Service
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

SINGAPORE -- The International Monetary Fund, the world's third-largest owner of gold, should sell some of its hoard to cover projected operating losses, say a growing number of the fund's executive directors.

The Washington-based lender predicts it will lose $87.5 million next year and $280 million in 2009. Some directors say the fund should sell a portion of its 103 million ounces of gold, valued at $64.7 billion, and invest the proceeds in interest- bearing assets.

Corporate acquisitions for 2006 set record


By Vinnee Tong
Associated Press
Monday, November 20, 2006

Buyouts are having a banner year. The volume of acquisitions announced this year breaks the record set in 2000, as the dollar total reached an all-time high last week, even before a slew of takeover announcements were made Monday that pushed it even higher.

As of Monday, the total value of announced acquisitions worldwide reached $3.46 trillion for the year, exceeding the $3.33 trillion level of announced deals reached in 2000, according to Dealogic.

Dollar falls amid concerns economy is slowing and Fed may ease


By Daniel Kruger and Min Zeng
Bloomberg News Service
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NEW YORK -- The dollar declined against the euro and yen as traders speculated the economy may be slowing enough for the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates.

The number of regional Fed banks voting not to boost borrowing costs increased as President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers lowered its growth forecast for 2007.

ETF talk boosts platinum but analyst says there's too little metal for one


Platinum Surges to Record
on Speculation Over EFT

By Chia-Peck Wong
Bloomberg News Service
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SINGAPORE -- Platinum for immediate delivery jumped to a record amid speculation that an exchange-traded fund may be introduced, potentially boosting demand for the commodity.

ETFs purchase and store metal, allowing investors to trade assets without owning them. Silver had its biggest jump in 11 years on April 28, when Barclays Plc began offering a silver- backed ETF.

Home sales plummet in 38 states in 3rd quarter


By Lauren Villagran
Associated Press
Monday, November 21, 2006

The feeble U.S. housing market showed more frailty when third-quarter home sales plummeted in 38 states, hitting Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and California particularly hard, government data showed on Monday.

The once-booming real estate market's persistent weakness over the past year has reined in expectations for economic growth but hasn't been severe enough to offset a rising stock market, lower gas prices, and improved consumer expectations.

Hong Kong plans gold depository to compete with U.S., Europe


Gold Depository Means
to Raise Hong Kong's
Financial Standing

Olivia Chung
The Standard, Hong Kong
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A gold depository at Hong Kong International Airport is in the final planning stages, Airport Authority chairman Victor Fung Kwok-king said Monday.

"The gold depository would enhance Hong Kong's status as an international financial center," Fung told reporters on the sidelines of a Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "We are discussing with the Hong Kong gold industry how to operate it."

Derivatives market grows by a quarter in just six months


By Gillian Tett
The Australian, Sydney
Monday, November 20, 2006,20867,20785202-36375,00.htm...

The global derivatives market surged by almost a quarter to $US370 trillion in the first half of this year as bankers, investors, and companies turned to these complex instruments to manage their risks or place speculative bets on markets.

At the end of June, the face value of all outstanding derivatives contracts in the global over-the-counter (OTC) market had risen 24 percent or $70,000 billion, according to the Bank for International Settlements in Basel. The latest figures mean the derivatives world has almost quadrupled in size since the start of the decade, with a face value on its contracts 30 times the size of the US economy.

Freeport-McMoRan pays 33% premium to acquire Phelps Dodge


From Reuters
Sunday, November 19, 2006

NEW YORK -- Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. said on Sunday it agreed to acquire Phelps Dodge Corp. for $25.9 billion in cash and stock, creating the world's largest publicly traded copper company.

Growth in demand will prevent crash in mineral prices, World Bank says


By David Uren
The Australian, Sydney
Sunday, November 20, 2006,20867,20786046-643,00.html

Surpluses in mineral supply will emerge in 2008, but continued growth in demand and rising mining costs will stop prices from dropping back to their level of the 1990s, according to the World Bank.

The bank says long-term demand growth will remain strong, while the industry faces challenges in raising its supply.

GATA's reception in New Orleans draws conference notables


2:11a CT Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GATA's reception Saturday evening during the New Orleans Investment Conference drew more than 130 people, including conference notables Mark Faber, Frank Veneroso, Bob Bishop, Brien Lundin, John Embry, Peter Grandich, Ian McAvity, David Tice, and James Turk.

The reception was held at Latrobe's on Royal, the former Louisiana State Bank building on Royal Street in the French Quarter (or, en francais, le Vieux Carre). Latrobe's has some fascinating architecture and it was gloriously made up.