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2018
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asian currencies gain for a fourth week on global recovery signs

asian currencies had a fourth weekly gain, the longest winning streak since september, on optimism the global economy is recovering.

china’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in two years, with industrial output picking up, according to government figures released today. housing starts in the u.s., the world’s largest economy, topped estimates and applications for jobless benefits declined, reports showed yesterday.

“there’s a lot of risk-on sentiment after u.s. data came in stronger than expected,” said vishnu varathan, a singapore- based economist at mizuho corporate bank ltd. the pickup in china’s economy “is also helping asian currencies,” he said.

crop prices gain; crude climbs; gold rises: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.4 percent to 652.41 at 5:56 p.m. singapore time. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials increased 0.4 percent to 1,581.513.

crude oil

oil gained in new york, heading for the highest close since september, while brent crude’s premium to west texas intermediate fell to a four-month low after the start of a pipeline that may reduce a glut in the u.s. midwest.

crude for february delivery rose as much as 73 cents to $94.29 a barrel and was at $94.18 in electronic trading on the new york mercantile exchange at 3:50 p.m. singapore time. volume for all contracts was 11 percent higher than the 100-day moving average. prices fell 26 cents to $93.56 on jan. 11 and climbed 0.5 percent last week.

sugar, cocoa, coffee gain as commodities advance on china

sugar, cocoa and coffee climbed in london and new york as raw materials advanced after chinese data showed exports increased more than forecast in december.

china’s overseas shipments increased 14.1 percent from a year earlier, the most since may, customs administration data showed today. that compares with the 5 percent median forecast in a bloomberg news survey of 40 economists. a broad measure of credit in the asian nation surged 28 percent. the data lifted commodity prices, with the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 raw materials rising as much as 1.1 percent. cotton also gained in new york.

return of the real obama

the rout was complete, the retreat disorderly. president obama got his tax hikes — naked of spending cuts — passed by the ostensibly republican house of representatives. after which, you might expect him to pivot to his self-proclaimed “principle” of fiscal “balance” by taking the lead on reducing spending. “why,” asked the post on the eve of the final fiscal-cliff agreement, “is the nation’s leader not embracing and then explaining the balanced reforms the nation needs?”

because he has no interest in them. he’s a visionary, not an accountant. sure, he’ll pretend to care about deficits, especially while running for reelection. but now that he’s past the post, he’s free to be himself — a committed big-government social democrat.

as he showed in his two speeches this week. after perfunctory nods to debt and spending re- duction, he waxed enthusiastic about continued “investments” — i.e., spending — on education, research, roads and bridges, green energy, etc.

oil drops; gold, copper, corn, wheat slide: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.6 percent to 646.1 at 5:31 p.m. singapore time. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials declined 0.5 percent to 1,573.245.

crude oil

oil trimmed its fourth weekly gain after u.s. federal reserve policy makers signaled they may end a stimulus program this year, raising concern the economic recovery may falter in the world’s biggest crude user.

cotton rises to 1-week high on u.s. exports; sugar, coffee gain

cotton rallied to a one-week high on signs of improved demand for u.s. exports. sugar, coffee and orange juice also advanced, while cocoa fell.

export sales of upland cotton in the month ended jan. 3 averaged 249,000 running bales a week, more than four times the average of a year earlier, data from the u.s. department of agriculture showed today. domestic production in the 12 months ended july 31 probably was less than the government said last month, according to analysts in a bloomberg survey. the usda will update its estimate today at noon in washington.

lead is top gainer as natural gas slumps: commodities at close

the standard & poor’s gsci gauge of 24 commodities jumped 1.1 percent to 653.54 at 4:34 p.m. in london. the ubs bloomberg cmci index of 26 raw materials was up 1.2 percent at 1,595.453.

base metals

industrial metals rallied in london, with copper climbing the most in three months and tin jumping to a 10-month high, after u.s. lawmakers passed a bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of higher taxes and cuts in spending.

copper for delivery in three months climbed 3.6 percent to $8,219.25 a ton on the london metal exchange. prices jumped as much as 3.8 percent, the most since sept. 14. copper for delivery in march increased 2.5 percent to $3.744 a pound on the comex in new york. markets in china are closed for a holiday.

commodities rise to highest in 11 weeks on china demand outlook

commodities rose to their highest in more than 11 weeks, led by energy and metals, amid optimism that an economic recovery in china will boost demand. gold advanced to a one-week high.

the standard & poor’s gsci index of 24 raw materials gained to the highest level since oct. 22, as aluminum advanced as much as 2 percent and crude climbed to the highest level in more than three months. china’s exports jumped 14.1 percent last month, compared with a 5 percent median forecast in a bloomberg news survey. the nation is the world’s biggest user of industrial metals and energy.

sugar climbs on economic outlook; coffee, cotton, cocoa rise

sugar advanced to a one-month high on speculation that demand for commodities will rise after u.s. lawmakers reached a budget deal. coffee, cotton and cocoa also gained, while orange juice fell.

the vote in the house of representatives broke a yearlong impasse over how to avert $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that threatened to send the economy back into recession. the standard & poor’s gsci spot index of 24 raw materials jumped as much as 1.5 percent, heading for the biggest increase since nov. 19.

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