Loonie Might Pare its gains on Rate Review

By TraderVox.com

Tradervox (Dublin) – Analysts are warning that the loonie might not just pare its gains against the greenback , but it might also loose its best performing form it has gained for the last six months. Analysts are saying that the expected increase in the interest rate may be bad for the Canadian dollar as it would restrict consumer spending which is the main support for the loonie.

Despite the fact that investors favor currencies with high interest rates due to the high returns potential associated with them, the Canadian dollar might not enjoy this as the economy is underpinned by debt. Reports show that house hold borrowing rose to 152.9 percent of disposable income by the end of 2011. In 2007, the figure was at 135 percent, the new data indicates that the country has exceeded the US’s household borrowing which stands at 145 percent. According to Shahab Jalinoos who is a Senior Currency Strategist in Stamford Connecticut, the Canadian growth has been driven by domestic demand which is driven by consumer spending; consumer spending is directly linked to expanded leverage which would be hampered by an increase in interest rate.

According to some analysts and currency strategists, the Canadian currency will depreciate to parity against the US dollar as the Bank of Canada Governor indicated that a rate increase might be necessary for the economy. The BOC had last increased borrowing cost in 2010 when it raised it to 1 percent from 0.25 in a three step process which started in June and ended in September. In this period, the currency depreciated by 7.46 percent against nine of the most traded currencies in the world.

The Canadian economy has been propelled by domestic consumers especially the housing market, which account for 2/3 of the economy. The BOC has projected that the economy will grow by 2.4 percent during this year hence hedging economic growth on consumer spending.

Tradervox.com is not giving advice nor is qualified or licensed to provide financial advice. You must seek guidance from your personal advisors before acting on this information. While we try to ensure that all of the information provided on this website is kept up-to-date and accurate we accept no responsibility for any use made of the information provided. Opinions expressed at Tradervox.com are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Tradervox.com or its management. 

Article provided by TraderVox.com
Tradervox.com is a Forex News Portal that provides real-time news and analysis relating to the Currency Markets.
News and analysis are produced throughout the day by our in-house staff.
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/tradervox

Why the U.S. Dollar is Critical for the S&P 500 Index this Week

By JW Jones – www.OptionsTradingSignals.com

Unfortunately I was sick the past few weeks and I am just now getting back into the swing of things. Similar to the demand pull that the warmer than usual spring has had on macroeconomic data, the warmer spring caused me to have an earlier than usual sinus infection as well as some horrific allergies. I suppose I am pushing it a bit far when I am comparing my health concerns to economic data, but alas I fly my nerd flag proudly.

Recently I have been advising members of my service to be cautious as the market appears to be at a major crossroads. The U.S. Dollar Index is on the verge of a major breakdown. If a breakdown occurs it will be clear that the Federal Reserve will have officially stopped any potential rise in the U.S. Dollar. Over the past few months the Dollar has been producing a series of higher highs and higher lows, however the current cycle may break the pattern as can be seen below.

If the U.S. Dollar pushes down below the recent lows and we get continuation to the downside, we will break the recent bullish pattern. Furthermore, if the Dollar starts to weaken it should benefit equities and other risk assets such as oil. Higher energy prices would not be long term bullish for equity markets so there is concern if the Dollar really starts to extend lower.

However, if the Dollar finds a bottom and rallies it clearly would create a headwind for equities. We should know whether we have a major breakdown on the daily chart in the next few weeks. Until then, the Dollar could go either way and obviously the price action in the Dollar will have a major impact on risk assets and stock market returns in the near future.

From a macroeconomic viewpoint, risk assets such as the S&P 500 Index could be in trouble in the months ahead. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) came in lower than expected with revisions likely in the near future. Unemployment claims appear to have bottomed and are rising week after week even though the major media fails to report it appropriately as it would appear that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has stumped media pundits with data revisions.

Additionally, there are two other macroeconomic data points which need to be mentioned. The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index has moved below zero and is showing a negative reading. This index is generally a leading indicator regarding equity prices and the recent decline shown below is problematic for the bullish case.

Chart Courtesy of Morgan Stanley

As can be seen above, fundamental data is starting to skew towards the downside which is likely a result of the recession that is in the process of developing over in Europe and potentially in China. Time will tell if the index can reverse, but the bulls need to see a major reversal in the near future.

The chart below illustrates the relationship between metal prices and industrial productivity. Demand for metal increases when economies are expanding and prices generally contract when economies retract. The chart below demonstrates global metal demand. The chart speaks for itself.

Chart Courtesy of Morgan Stanley


Clearly if industrial production contracts (reduction in Global Manufacturing PMI) the impact on the global economy will be felt across multiple countries’ economies. The chart below illustrates the MSCI World Index compared to global manufacturing PMI. Similarly to the chart above, this chart also tells a significant story about what investors and traders should expect if the PMI numbers come in light   against expectations.

Chart Courtesy of Morgan Stanley


As quoted from the zerohedge.com article entitled What do Metal Prices Tell us About the Future of the Stock Market, “In other words, for those who still believe in logical, causal relationships (even in a time of ubiquitous central planning) unless something drastically changes to push fundamental demand of metals higher, one could say the the outlook for equities is not good.”

Essentially, the data shown above is certainly not bullish in the intermediate to longer term. However, it generally takes time for macroeconomic data to permeate all the way through to equity markets. For right now, the story regarding global growth is at the very least questionable based on the data illustrated above.

In the short term anything is seemingly possible. The S&P 500 Index closed above the key 1,400 price level on Friday. I would not be shocked to see prices extend up to the recent highs near 1,420. Ultimately I think we are in a long term topping formation that might require another higher high up to around 1,440 before we see a deeper correction.

The past few weeks have produced a very mild correction compared to the monster rally we have seen since October of 2011. This is a bullish signal, but we need to see prices continue higher and climb a serious “wall of worry” that is coming out of a variety of places. The European situation continues to worsen overall and we have lower than expected GDP numbers in the US paired with concerns about growth in China.

The S&P 500 has some negative headlines to deal with, but so far it has been able to shrug off poor economic data and we could see an extension higher that would shake out the shorts and run stops above the recent highs. However a move lower remains possible. The daily chart of the S&P 500 illustrates the recent correction and the 1,420 highs.

I believe that the next few weeks are going to be critical and the S&P 500 may trade in a consolidation zone between recent lows and the 1,420 highs while traders await more economic data. Fundamental data is starting to indicate that a slow down may be beginning. In contrast, the topping pattern that we appear to be carving out may require higher prices to suck in more longs before moving into a deeper correction.

In the short run, the Dollar will likely hold clues regarding the immediate future for risk assets. However, the longer term picture for equities is quite murky based on the economic data points we are seeing paired with additional concerns stemming from the European sovereign debt crisis. Right now I am looking at time decay based strategies in the near term and will likely stay away from directional biased trades. I would urge readers to be cautious regardless of which direction they favor.

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Jw Jones

This material should not be considered investment advice. J.W. Jones is not a registered investment advisor. Under no circumstances should any content from this article or the OptionsTradingSignals.com website be used or interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any type of security or commodity contract. This material is not a solicitation for a trading approach to financial markets. Any investment decisions must in all cases be made by the reader or by his or her registered investment advisor. This information is for educational purposes only.


Dollar Tumbles Following Disappointing GDP Figure

Source: ForexYard

A worse than expected Advance GDP figure sent the dollar tumbling to multi-week lows against several of its main currency rivals on Friday. The EUR/USD closed out the week at 1.3249, up close to 100 pips for the day. Against the JPY, the greenback was down 115 pips to finish the day at 80.27. Turning to this week, the US Non-Farm Payrolls figure should be closely watched when it is released on Friday. In addition, Tuesday’s US ISM Manufacturing PMI and Wednesday’s ADP Non-Farm Employment Change may lead to significant activity in the marketplace. The dollar may extend its losses should any of the indicators come in below expectations.

Economic News

USD – Dollar Volatility Expected Ahead of Non-Farm Report

A disappointing US GDP figure resulted in heavy losses for the dollar to close out last week’s trading session. The news reinforced market sentiment that the Federal Reserve may soon initiate a new round of quantitative easing to help generate momentum for the US economic recovery. In addition to falling around 95 pips against the euro and well over 100 pips vs. the Japanese yen, the dollar also took losses against the AUD and CHF. The AUD/USD shot up around 120 pips for the day to close out the week at 1.0470, while the USD/CHF dropped close to 70 pips to close out Friday’s session at 0.9065.

Turning to today, a lack of significant US news means that the dollar could extend its current bearish trend ahead of potentially significant news later in the week. That being said, traders will still want to pay attention to the US Core PCE Price Index and Consumer Spending figures, both scheduled to be released at 12:30 GMT. Should either of the indicators come in above expectations, the dollar may see slight upward movement during afternoon trading.

Later in the week, the dollar will have plenty of opportunities to recoup its recent losses ahead of Friday’s all-important US Non-Farm Payrolls figure. Tuesday’s ISM Manufacturing PMI, followed by Wednesday’s ADO Non-Farm Employment Change and Thursday’s ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI are all considered valid indicators of overall economic health. Positive data could lead to dollar gains in the days ahead.

EUR – Euro Remains Low Despite Smooth Italian Debt Auction

While the euro saw fairly significant gains against the US dollar on Friday, the common currency remained bearish vs. most of its other rivals despite a positive Italian debt auction. The euro’s downward movement was attributed to a Spanish credit rating downgrade earlier in the week, which led to risk aversion among investors. The EUR/JPY dropped around 110 pips during Friday’s session to close out the week at 106.35. Against the AUD, the euro dropped close to 80 pips to finish the day at 1.2648.

Turning to this week, while most investors will likely be focusing on US employment data scheduled for Friday, euro-zone news is still forecasted to generate market volatility. Specifically, traders will want to pay attention to Thursday’s European Central Bank (ECB) Press Conference. The press conference follows the ECB’s monthly interest rate announcement, also known as the Minimum Bid Rate. While no changes are expected in euro-zone interest rates, the press conference may offer clues as to the current state of the euro-zone economic recovery and could lead to heavy trading in the marketplace.

JPY – BOJ Monetary Easing Does Little to Damage Yen Strength

The Bank of Japan’s long expected new round of monetary easing resulted in temporary losses for the yen in overnight trading on Friday. That being said, the JPY bounced back throughout the European session as risk aversion led to gains for safe-haven currencies. In addition to gains vs. the USD and euro, the yen also moved up against currencies like the Australian dollar and Swiss franc. The AUD/JPY dropped close to 90 pips in early morning trading, reaching as low as 83.54 before staging an upward correction. The pair eventually closed out the week at 84.04. Beginning in overnight trading, the CHF/JPY dropped around 85 pips to close out the week at 88.51.

Turning to this week, traders will want to pay attention to a batch of data out of the US and euro-zone. Both the US and euro-zone have seen negative fundamental data in recent weeks that has led to doubt in the pace of their respective economic recoveries. Should any of this week’s news, including Friday’s closely watched US Non-Farm Payrolls, lead to further investor pessimism, safe haven currencies like the yen could extend their recent gains.

Crude Oil – Crude Oil Sees Gains amid Bearish US Dollar

Crude oil saw moderate gains on Friday, as a bearish US dollar resulted in the commodity becoming cheaper for international buyers. Overall, crude was up over $1 a barrel for the day, peaking at $104.97, just below the psychologically significant $105 resistance level. Crude ended up closing out the week at $104.75.

Turning to this week, news out of the euro-zone is likely to lead to volatility in the price of oil. Thursday’s ECB Press Conference in particular is forecasted to highlight the current state of the euro-zone economic recovery. Any signs of further euro-zone debt troubles could cause crude oil to turn bearish. That being said, should any US news this week, including Friday’s all important Non-Farm Payrolls figure, result in the dollar sinking lower against the euro, crude oil could extend its bullish trend.

Technical News


The Williams Percent Rang e on the daily chart has crossed over into overbought territory, indicating that downward movement could occur in the near future. Additionally, a bearish cross has formed close to the 80 level on the same chart’s Slow Stochastic. Going short may be the wise choice for this pair, ahead of a possible downward correction.


In a sign that a downward correction could occur in the near future, the Relative Strength Index has crossed into overbought territory. This theory is supported by the weekly chart’s Williams Percent Range, which is currently well above the -20 level. Going short may be the wise choice for this pair.


The daily chart’s Williams Percent Range has crossed over into oversold territory, indicating that this pair could see upward movement in the near future. Additionally, the weekly chart’s Slow Stochastic seems to be close to forming a bullish cross. Traders will want to keep an eye on the Slow Stochastic. Should the cross form, opening long positions may be the wise choice.


The daily chart’s Williams Percent Range has dropped into oversold territory indicating that upward movement could occur in the near future. That being said, most other long term technical indicators show this pair range trading. Taking a wait and see approach may be the best choice for this pair.

The Wild Card


The daily chart’s Slow Stochastic has formed a bullish cross, indicating that this pair could see upward movement in the near future. In addition, the Williams Percent Range on the same chart has crossed over into oversold territory. This may be a good opportunity for forex traders to open long positions ahead of a possible upward correction.

Forex Market Analysis provided by ForexYard.

© 2006 by FxYard Ltd

Disclaimer: Trading Foreign Exchange carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you could sustain a loss of all of your investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with Foreign Exchange trading.


Sterling Advances as Speculation Concerning QE Continues

By TraderVox.com

Tradervox.com (Dublin) – The pound has been on demand as debt crisis in Europe aggravated to levels after Spain was degraded on Standard & Poor’s credit rating. Despite UK slipping back into recession, the demand for safety of the pound was high throughout the week. Moreover, speculation that Bank of England might pause its stimulus program has also boosted the demand for the sterling pound for the second week.

The pound is experiencing demand as reports of Spain demotion by Standard and Poor’s was released and reports from US showed that the US economy slowed in the last quarter. The Sterling Pound rose to 22-month high against the euro as traders sought for its safety. It is increased to the highest since September against the greenback after the report showing decline in growth was released.

Steven Barrow of Standard Bank Plc in London said explained the strong pound saying that despite the surprise in UK GDP, the monetary sentiments, and general economic reports from elsewhere seem to be weaker than those in UK hence leading to a demand of the euro. He predicted that if the data from UK stood out as weaker than in other areas, then the pound would have suffered.

The Bank of England meeting on May 9-10 will deliberate on whether to extend the QE program. In their last meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee members supported the current 325 billion-pound QE program and suggested that they first finish it before considering another one.

The pound advanced against the dollar by 0.8 percent on the previous week to trade at $1.6243, it had risen to the highest since December 1 when it touched $1.6258. The Great Britain Pound gained 0.5 percent against the euro to exchange at 81.59 pence per euro. It had earlier reached a high of 81.34 pence per euro, which is the strongest since June 2010.

Tradervox.com is not giving advice nor is qualified or licensed to provide financial advice. You must seek guidance from your personal advisors before acting on this information. While we try to ensure that all of the information provided on this website is kept up-to-date and accurate we accept no responsibility for any use made of the information provided. Opinions expressed at Tradervox.com are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Tradervox.com or its management. 

Article provided by TraderVox.com
Tradervox.com is a Forex News Portal that provides real-time news and analysis relating to the Currency Markets.
News and analysis are produced throughout the day by our in-house staff.
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/tradervox

GBPUSD stays above a upward trend line

GBPUSD stays above a upward trend line on 4-hour chart, and remains in uptrend from 1.5818. As long as the trend line support holds, uptrend could be expected to continue, and next target would be at 1.6400 area. On the downside, a clear break below the trend line will indicate that a cycle top has been formed and the rise from 1.5818 has completed, then the following downward movement could bring price back to 1.6000 zone.


Forex Signals

Euro Remains Low Ahead of Spanish GDP

Source: ForexYard


Despite the Euro making gains on April 27, the 17- nation currency reached its weakest level for almost 2 years against the British pound. The shared currency has weakened ahead of a media briefing by the Spanish government to discuss how the nation will tackle its deficit problem.

The Euro also remained lower versus the Japanese Yen following a two-day decline as the currency was trading at 106.39 yen at approximately 7:20 am Singapore time. The single currency dropped 0.6 percent against the Japanese yen during Friday’s trading. The euro also slid to its weakest level since June 2010, against the Sterling as it touched 81.34.

Elsewhere, the European currency also weakened against the U.S Dollar after dropping 0.1 percent to $1,3240.

There are a number of euro-related financial reports due for release on Monday week which could have an affect on the movements of the single currency. The reports include, Spanish GDP Report,German Retail Sales,Consumer Price Index(CPI) and Greek Retail Sales.

Investors will keep an eye on Wednesday’s economic calender as Germany,France will be releasing financial reports. The reports expected for Wednesday include, French Manufacturing PMI,German Manufacturing PMI,German Unemployment Rate,German Unemployment Change as well as Manufacturing PMI.

Forex Market Analysis provided by ForexYard.

© 2006 by FxYard Ltd

Disclaimer: Trading Foreign Exchange carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. There is a possibility that you could sustain a loss of all of your investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with Foreign Exchange trading.

Do You Have Investments Here? And How Should You Invest?

By MoneyMorning.com.au

Australia has had quite a few crises fly past our economic windscreen since ‘the recession we had to have’ in the 1990s. The East-Asian crisis, the tech wreck, September 11, the global financial crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis and any we’ve forgotten. But Australia chugs on as ever.

So is it safe to invest your money and to keep what’s already committed working hard for your retirement? And what are the risks?

Do we, for example, have resource curse and Dutch Disease? Both those terms refer to what your local newspaper editor might call a ‘two speed economy’. Resources can dominate all other parts of the economy and cause the exchange rate to appreciate beyond what the rest of the economy can handle. This happened to the Netherlands in 1959, hence the name Dutch Disease, when they discovered a vast natural gas field. Just like Australia has in the Cooper basin, for example.

The effect of Dutch Disease is that resource-exporting countries tend to struggle suddenly, as their economic wellbeing becomes tied to international resource prices. And government revenue can unexpectedly implode because so much of it is derived from the one dominant sector. Malcolm Turnbull spoke about all this just a few days ago here.

The thing is, Australia may or may not have Dutch Disease. We just don’t know…yet.

But that’s not the only risk for the Aussie economy. Does Australia have a housing bubble? We’ll be diplomatic, because this article isn’t about the housing bubble so we’ll answer ‘maybe’. We don’t know either…yet. But notice what happened to countries that did turn out to have housing bubbles. The US triggered a global financial crisis with its mortgage meltdown and half of Europe is in a funding crisis after having to bail out its banks.

The Risk of Debt

Connected to the housing bubble risk is the risk of debt generally. This risk shows up in all sorts of different ways. For example, the size of the financial sector. Gerard Minack, from investment bank Morgan Stanley, pointed out on the ABC that Australia’s finance industry has grown in terms of profit and contribution to GDP. That can’t last, in his opinon.

‘I mean, we’ve had 20 years of banks effectively being a GDP plus growth sector, with credit growth running way above income growth. And, you know, the best case is it flatlines. If it starts to shrink, then you’re all fighting over a smaller pie.’

Notice that those 20 years coincide mightily well with the amount of time we have been recessionless. Debt relative to GDP has also seen a ‘huge escalation’ according to Minack. By the way, this is the point that economist and crisis predictor Steve Keen harps on about.

An Investment Mistake

Another risk Australia has, which you may not have heard, is the problem of malinvestment. A malinvestment is an investment mistake made because of artificially good times. (Technically speaking, those artificially good times are caused by artificially low interest rates thanks to central bank meddling.)

As soon as tough times strike, these investments are exposed as errors. They have to be, as fellow Austrians Arnold Schwarzenegger and economist Ludwig von Mises would say, ‘liquidated’.

Australia hasn’t had tough economic times for more than 20 years – if you take a recession to mean ‘tough times’. How many businesses out there have profit margins too small to take a hit? How many people are in so much debt that a lost job would spell disaster? The answer is probably a lot, simply because we have become used to a stability that just doesn’t last forever.

All of these points are the signals that many financial crisis predictors used to foresee what happened to the US in 2008, Europe today, East-Asia in 1997 and so on. We reckon the most important one is the level of debt. So much borrowing from the future means less growth in the future.

If you’re wise enough to worry about these risks, even if you don’t think they’re justified, what should you do? Move to New Zealand?

The answer might be almost as drastic. You see, Australians are obsessed with the idea of capital gains. But if that’s the focus of your investment returns, you’re also putting your capital at risk. And probably a very large portion of it. That’s not a good idea in the face of the risks we just outlined.

A New Investment Mindset

So what’s a strategy that keeps you in the game of gains, while minimising the danger of losing your initial investment? The answer is to reset your investment criteria to prioritise income over capital gains. Income producing assets don’t require selling out to realise gains. That’s the crucial difference, because a success is measured over a long period of time, not just at two certain points in time (when you buy and when you sell).

A market crash at the wrong time can mean disaster if you are banking on being able to sell out at a high price. An income investor might have to lower their standard of living if their income falls, but they are still sitting pretty by comparison because they’ve been earning cash in the meantime.

There are plenty of income producing investments out there for you to choose from. Corporate bonds, term deposits and hybrid investments (these are usually structured to be a combination of debt and equity, but trade like a share on the ASX) for example.

But most of those don’t have the big advantages that dividend paying shares do. First of all, dividend shares can still go up in price. So you might be less exposed to a market rally than by buying growth stocks such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, but dividend paying shares do still go up.

Secondly, dividends can grow over time. You might buy into a dividend stock at a 5% per cent dividend yield, but dividend hikes could see that yield rise dramatically. Of course, if that happens, it will probably come with an increasing share price too. But too many investors see that gain and get greedy. They sell out of a position that’s earning an impressive dividend yield.

Ask yourself, would you be tempted given this scenario:

Campbell Brothers has gone up 1475% in about 9 years.

Campbell Brothers

Campbell Brothers

Source: Yahoo Finance

That’s quite a capital gains success story. But how does the dividend side of things stack up?

ten year annual dividend summary

In 2003 CPB had a 6% dividend yield. Not bad. It has since grown its dividend almost five fold, giving you a 37.8% dividend yield on your initial investment. That’s an annual payment of 37.8% of whatever you invested, or a 1475% capital gain. Which would you choose?

Remember, if you reinvest your capital gains, you are putting them at risk. And very few income opportunities pay a 37.8% return straight up. We reckon that the income stream outweighs the benefits of the gains. Unless you’re planning on buying a yacht!

All this analysis of Campbell Brothers is based on just nine years of data. If you don’t sell out to realise the capital gains, and the dividends continue to grow, a $100,000 investment in 2003 could just about give you the income you need to fund your basic living expenses in retirement. Of course, we’re not suggesting putting so many eggs in one basket. But a diversified bunch of picks similar to CPB today is a good idea.

That’s the kind of solution you should be looking for. But finding it is just as difficult as finding the kind of stocks that go up in price. That’s the task we’ve set ourselves as our new advisory service nears its launch date.

It involves a surprising way to magnify the gains from dividend investments alongside the stocks we think will grow their dividends in the face of troubling economic times.

Nick Hubble
Editor, Money Morning

The Conference of the Year “After America” DVD

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Do You Have Investments Here? And How Should You Invest?

Nigeria: Why the African Oil Connection is Still So Attractive

By MoneyMorning.com.au

There are three reasons why Nigeria remains one of the most difficult in which to conduct business. The first addresses security amidst regional differences and a delta region that is a tinder box of revolution, secession, tribal warfare, and flat out criminal activity. It is hot, sticky, bug-infested, and dangerous…

But it holds a great deal of light, sweet crude.

Such oil is highly desired these days. There is little of it left worldwide. It requires less processing, since it does not have much sulfur to remove or weight to thin out.

And that increases profit margins.

What Comes With the Territory in Nigeria

Still, it also guarantees competition, political intrigue, and ecological damage, along with kidnappings of company personnel, attacks on rigs and pipelines, inter-village conflict, and even the occasional revenge homicide.

The second factor making life difficult for oil extraction in Nigeria is the corruption. We’re talking about one of the most corrupt nations on the planet. There are laws on the books, plenty of them. But they are regularly ignored by officials who see an easy opportunity to make a lot of money for themselves.

A Nigerian newspaper editor summed it up a while back by telling me (in all seriousness), “If the amount of the bribe is less than $10 million U.S., it isn’t even worth the newspaper space to report it. We would also need to double the size of a daily edition to cover them all.”

Third is the criminal factor. Whenever there is a great deal of money available, that attracts fraud, deception, and worse, especially when it is a developing country with deep-seated historical divisions.

Remember, Nigeria is the place that invented those email frauds requesting assistance in moving money for an apparent “can’t miss” chance to make some big bucks quickly. After all, all you need do is set up an empty bank account, right? These are known around the globe as “409 scams” – after the Nigerian Commercial Code section they violate.

But the crime goes deeper. Little, if any, importing of oil products takes place outside organized crime. Sounds strange that one would import into an oil-wealthy country like Nigeria, doesn’t it? But the fact is, there is little refinery capacity. So most oil produced there is shipped out as crude oil. Then, the country produces only 15% of the electricity needed daily. That means 85% must come from private generators operating on diesel, and that fuel must be bought into the country.

The diesel traffic into the Nigerian market may be the most criminally controlled and nasty business anywhere in the world. The tankers park (that is, “bunker”) out beyond the eight-mile national jurisdiction zone, and shuttle craft – directed by the Nigerian mob – ferry the fuel to shore.

So, with all these problems, why bother setting up operations there?

Huge Oil Reserves in Nigeria

Simple, Africa is one of two places left in the world where there is a great deal of potential oil, needed by a world becoming concerned over supply constriction. The other place is the Arctic.

Africa is much cheaper.

In West Africa, Nigeria and Angola have ushered in an oil rush that has spread to neighbouring countries as the true expanse of these basins comes to light. In addition, the deep water off the coast of the region is developing into one of the most promising large field locations remaining in the world. Royal Dutch/Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), Chevron (NYSE: CVR) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) are already there with huge projects.

But it is a range of smaller companies (mid and small cap) that are likely to make the biggest impact for investors.

Others will be coming into play shortly.

Problems in places like Nigeria have developed over generations and will be very difficult to displace.

But the oil riches coming from Africa will oblige us to keep going back and trying.

Dr. Kent Moors

Contributing Editor, Money Morning

Publisher’s Note: This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Oil & Energy Investor.

From the Archives…

Why Graphite is the High Tech Commodity of the Future
2012-04-27 – Dr. Alex Cowie

Why Gold is Hands-Down the Best “Money” You Can Buy
2012-04-26 – Kris Sayce

12% Compulsory Super – Get Ready for the Government’s Next Tax Grab
2012-04-25 – Kris Sayce

Westfield – The Aussie Retail Stock That Could Make You Money
2012-04-24 – Shae Smith

Why Natural Gas Is Still My Favourite Resource Opportunity
2012-04-23 – Kris Sayce

Nigeria: Why the African Oil Connection is Still So Attractive

How Gold Nanoparticles Will Create A New Kind of Gold Rush

By MoneyMorning.com.au

Today I want to talk about another cancer breakthrough that epitomizes this new era.

It’s found in gold.

As it turns out, gold is a natural-born killer of unhealthy human cells. It has distinct properties that make it ideal for linking medical science with the new field of nanotech.

I believe the yellow metal will play a vital role in the Era of Radical Change, in which human beings routinely live healthy, productive lives well into our hundreds. And gold’s growing use in both biotech and nanotech will greatly expand our chances to score big stock gains, too.

A new kind of gold rush has started. And not only can you make money from it – it could also save the human race from the most deadly diseases.

I predict that by the end of this decade, gold will be used as a lethal weapon in the battle against a wide range of killer tumors.

It has to do with so-called gold nanoparticles.

Nano Gold

The odds are good you’ve seen “nano gold” in the past but didn’t even know it. If you’ve ever looked at a photo of stained-glass windows in old medieval European churches, the red and yellow in those scenes came from nanoparticles of gold and silver embedded in the glass.

Fact is, we’ve been putting these tiny specks of gold to use, in one form or another, for centuries. But they’ve only lately become a key tool for fighting disease and making new medical discoveries.

Take the recent breakthrough from a team at Stanford University.

Scientists there used nano gold to find and highlight aggressive forms of brain tumors. They used tiny gold spheres so small it boggles the mind – they measured less than five one-millionths of an inch in diameter. Each piece of nano gold was coated with an agent that allowed the tiny balls to be viewed with three different types of body imaging techniques.

In this test at Stanford, team members found they could see and remove tumors marked by nano gold from the brains of mice with the highest degree of accuracy reported to date.

Here’s why that’s so important.

With current approaches, it is quite difficult for doctors to know if they have removed all of a tumor. That’s why they often do a full mastectomy to be sure breast cancer is fully eradicated. But because every part of the brain is so vital to the rest of the body, surgeons cannot take out extra brain tissue just to make sure they removed the entirety of the cancerous tumor.

“You clearly have to leave as much of the healthy brain intact as you possibly can,” said Dr. Sam Gambhir, who chairs Stanford’s radiology unit. “Now we can learn the tumor’s extent before we go into the operating room.” Gambhir made his remarks along with his findings published in the journal Nature Medicine.

As it turns out, Ghambir is a leader in the field of molecular imaging; he has won a string of awards. And he’s a leader we, as investors, should track for one very important reason beyond this current study: He has served as a key advisor to several biotech firms. That means he has an eye for the money-making aspects of this research…

One of these boards puts Ghambir directly in contact with Big Pharma.

He’s on the scientific advisory board at Enlight Biosciences, which is something of a biotech incubator. It has the backing of such industry giants as Abbot, Merck, and Pfizer. And it covers a wide range of cutting-edge biotech fields, ranging from drug delivery to custom treatments for patients to creating novel drug compounds.

So we’ll be keeping an eye on them.

Meantime, Gambhir’s Stanford study could vastly improve treatment for brain cancer. To be sure, brain tumors affect a limited number of patients. About 14,000 people a year in the U.S. contract brain cancer, of which only about 3,000 get the most aggressive form that the Gambhir team studied.

Gold Nanoparticles Bring New Hope

But today, brain tumors rank No. 2 for cancer-related deaths in people under age 20. So this nano gold breakthrough will certainly give thousands of young people and their parents and friends new reason for hope.

What’s more, the impact will grow over time, because these are some of the toughest surgeries doctors must now perform. And this breakthrough could have an impact far beyond treating brain tumors. You see, the nano gold markers could give doctors a better view of a wide range of diseases, particularly cancers.

For his part, Gambhir sees another way to move this field forward. Because it’s fairly easy to heat up nano gold, the particles might be used to destroy the tumors themselves.

That technology would be nothing short of revolutionary. Just think what it would mean to the entire human race if you could inject nano gold in a patient’s body and watch the metal destroy a tumor or some other form of cancer.

So don’t think of gold as just a great hedge against inflation and mounting U.S. debt.

Because when it comes to fighting disease and saving lives, nano gold just may become the most precious metal of all.

Michael A. Robinson
Contributing Editor, Money Morning

Publisher’s Note: This article originally appeared in Era of Radical Change.

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