Daily Dispatches

China's empire building in Africa means trouble for West


By Ambrose Evans Pritchard
The Telegraph, London
Monday, February 5, 2007


The new Cold War between China and the United States is taking shape, in Africa. Last week the US Defence Department quietly launched its first military command dedicated to black Africa and the Sahara -- until now a forgotten annex of the Pentagon's European and Mid East operations.

China drives copper prices -- and maybe manipulates them


By Joanne Lee-Young
Vancouver Sun
Monday, February 5, 2007


The copper bulls are duking it out with the copper bears. Each side says look at China. Both have British Columbia mining companies watching with interest.

The debate is on because copper has been slipsliding. Lately, it has been holding on at around $2.60 US for .45 kg (one pound), down some 35 percent from a May 2006 stratospheric high of just under $4 for .45 kg.

Peter Brimelow: Golden suspicions -- newsletters wonder about market manipulation


By Peter Brimelow
Monday, February 5, 2007


NEW YORK -- The past week was dramatic for gold. And the letters smell manipulation.

At Thursday's close, the yellow metal had risen to a high not seen since July last year (briefly). Then heavy selling in New York on Friday eradicated almost the entire week's gain.

Another yen carry trade -- this one boosts Brazilian economy


Real Making Brazil a Haven for Capital

By Adriana Brasileiro and Alexander Ragir
Bloomberg News Service
Monday, February 5, 2007


Joao de Matos, whose travel agency has been a fixture in Manhattan's Little Brazil neighborhood since the 1970s, stared at a chart showing a surge in Brazil's currency against the dollar and fretted about his business.

Syria turns to euro for half of currency reserves


From Agence France Presse
via Yahoo News
Sunday, February 4, 2007


Syria has replaced the dollar with the euro for half of its foreign currency reserves as part of efforts to counter possible U.S. sanctions, Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri said.

"The Syrian pound is sheltered from crises because of its large foreign currency reserves and because the euro has replaced the dollar in the case of about half of this money," Otri said, quoted by the state news agency SANA.

Gene Arensberg's Got Gold Report: Commercials, ETF investors diverge sharply


Positive Liquity Returns
to Gold and Silver ETFs

By Gene Arensberg
Sunday, February 4, 2007

HOUSTON -- An interesting divergence is setting up in the primary indicators followed closely by this report. On the one hand, the large commercial COMEX traders are taking on short positions at an exaggerated pace like they think that the dollar price of gold is about to plunge. On the other, investors in gold and silver ETFs are buying more of the metal trading vehicles than selling. A lot more. ...

China spends $800 million to buy Zambia


Chinese President Announces
$800M Investment in Zambia

From German Press Agency
via MonstersAndCritics.com
Sunday, February 4, 2007


LUSAKA, Zambia -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday announced an $800 million investment package in Zambia on the second day of a two-day visit to the southern African country where a Chinese rush on resources is the source of growing unease.

Tracking and trading market intervention is a growing industry


11:18p ET Saturday, February 3, 2007

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

It's wonderful to see that surreptitious U.S. government intervention in the financial markets is now taken so much for granted that more people are building mechanisms for tracking and trading it. (GATA's consultant, Michael Bolser, may have been the first with his Interventional Analysis letter, www.interventionalanalysis.com.) The latest undertaking is that of Robert D. McHugh Jr., editor of the Financial Markets Forecast & Analysis letter, whose essay, "The Plunge Protection Team Risk Indicator -- A Rally Finder," can be found at Gold-Eagle here:

China prepares to spend $200 billion to buy stuff around the world


By Zhou Jiangong
Asia Times, Hong Kong
Saturday, February 3, 2007


SHANGHAI -- The Chinese government is taking action to implement a new policy of diversifying the disposal of the country's over US$1 trillion foreign exchange reserves that was initiated by the Central Conference on Financial Affairs three weeks ago.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is planning to issue yuan-denominated bonds to raise funds that will be used to "buy out" as much as $200 billion from the country's foreign reserve pool.

Somebody knows it's still money: Gold rush tears up patch of Amazon jungle


By Michael Astor
Associated Press
Saturday, February 3, 2007


It's a gold rush in the Amazon jungle, driven by the Internet.

Speeding past unbroken walls of foliage, a motorboat packed with gritty prospectors veers toward the shore of the Juma river and spills its passengers into a city of black plastic lean-tos veiled by greasy smoke.

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