Daily Dispatches

Spending China's dollars: CITIC buys Kazakhstan oilfield


CITIC Buys Oil Company Stake for $1.91 Billion

By Scott McDonald
Associated Press
Sunday, December 31, 2006


China, which is aggressively seeking overseas energy assets to fuel its booming economy, said Sunday that one of its biggest conglomerates has bought the Kazakhstan oil assets of a Canadian company for $1.91 billion.

At 5 years old, euro easily rivals other currencies


By Matt Moore
Associated Press
Friday, December 29, 2006


The surging euro is confounding critics who once doubted it could rival the dollar, pound, and yen -- but Europe's shared currency still annoys some consumers five years after its introduction in cash form.

In 2006, it has surged in value, rising nearly 14 percent to 20-month highs and is about three or four cents off its all-time high of $1.36 in December 2004. It's a strong turnaround from an initial plunge to as low as 82 cents in 2000.

Gold finishes year up 23%, silver up 45%


Don't worry -- We'll keep griping that it should have been a lot more!

* * *

By Ciara Linnane
Friday, December 29, 2006


NEW YORK -- Gold futures closed higher Friday to chalk up a 23 percent gain for 2006, leading a broader advance in the metals market as the dollar fell against most of its major rivals. Gold for February delivery finished the session up $1.10 at $638 an ounce, compared with the front-month contract close at $518.90 a year ago. Gold gained 18 percent in 2005. Silver futures finished down 0.5 cent at $12.935 an ounce for a 45.5 percent gain on the year.

GATA reception at conclusion of Vancouver conference


2:45p ET Friday, December 29, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

GATA will hold a reception at the conclusion of the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference.

The reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, January 22, in the Cypress Suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 999 Canada Place, adjacent to the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, where the conference is being held. The Cypress Suite is on the hotel's restaurant level, one floor above the lobby.

Will Gulf countries follow UAE in dollar drop?


Emirates Narrowing Dollar Reserves

By Jim Krane
Associated Press
Thursday, December 28, 2006


The wilting U.S. dollar is pushing the United Arab Emirates, a close U.S. ally, to convert 8 percent of its foreign exchange reserves into the healthier euros, the central bank governor said on Thursday.

The Emirates' nearly $25 billion currency reserves are currently 98 percent dollars. That percentage will drop to 90 percent in six to nine months if the bank's directors approve the switch as is expected, Central Bank governor Sultan Bin Nasser al-Suwaidi said.

Will the history of fiat money repeat itself?


10:26p ET Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

There doesn't seem to be much news on the metals front tonight but some fascinating history can be a lot more useful than news, and there's a wonderful piece of it at GoldSeek -- an essay by Shannara Johnson of Doug Casey's International Speculator about the fiat money disaster in revolutionary France. Johnson's essay draws on the classic book "Fiat Money Inflation in France" by Andrew Dickson White and it suggests many parallels to today's international financial situation.

Thailand says purchase of N. Korean gold preceded sanctions


From Reuters
Thursday, December 28, 2006


North Korea sold 1.3 tonnes of gold to Thailand a few months before the United Nations slapped international sanctions on Pyongyang in October, according to Thai customs data.

Thailand paid the reclusive communist state a total of 1.03 billion baht ($28 million) for 500 kg of gold in April and 800 kg in May, the Customs Department said on its web site, www.customs.go.th.

How U.S. trade deficit fuels bubbles, rewards rich, and screws poor


Of Public Debt and Private Wealth

By Steven Pearlstein
Washington Post
Wednesday, December 27, 2006


With Democrats about to take charge on Capitol Hill, we're going to be hearing a lot about the widening income gap between rich and poor.

There are a variety of measures for inequality and lots of factors that drive the data, ranging from winner-take-all labor market competition and the weakness of unions to the pace of immigration and the tendency of high-income people to marry each other.

Value of euros in circulation exceeds value of dollars


By Ralph Atkins
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The US dollar bill's standing as the world's favourite form of cash is being usurped by the 5-year-old euro.

The value of euro notes in circulation is this month likely to exceed the value of circulating dollar notes, according to calculations by the Financial Times. Converted at Wednesday's exchange rates, the euro took the lead in October.

China to use foreign exchange to develop energy and mineral resources


By Elaine Kurtenbach
Associated Press
Wednesday, December 27, 2006


China will take advantage of its massive foreign exchange reserves to expand its stock of strategic resources such as oil and minerals, state media reported Wednesday, citing a top economic official.

Vice Prime Minister Zeng Peiyan told leaders of the national legislature that the government plans to step up exploration for key resources such as oil, gas, and coal. It also intends to use the opportunity afforded by the country's more than $1 trillion in foreign reserves to improve strategic resource bases, the state-run newspaper China Business News and other reports said.

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