Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jim Rogers says oil ignoring bad news usually means rebound near

Oil's holding near $45 while the bad news keeps coming. For investor Jim Rogers, that's usually a sign a rebound's round the corner.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is still pumping near record amounts of oil, China's imports have slowed and U.S. crude stockpiles remain about 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average.

Yet, U.S. benchmark prices have held steady for more than four weeks since plunging to a six- year low at the end of August.

“When there's bad news and something doesn’t decline, it usually means it's at a bottom and will be turning,” Rogers, who correctly predicted a commodities rally in 1999, said in an interview in Singapore on Thursday. “Whether we’re at a turning point or not, I don’t know yet and I’m watching this very closely.”

A persistent global glut of crude that's cut prices by half over the past year has prompted banks including Citigroup Inc. to predict further declines, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warning they may drop to as low as $20 a barrel. The losses, driven by a U.S. shale boom and OPEC's strategy to sustain output to defend market share, has led a slump in commodities that's roiled currency, equity and debt markets across the world.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures in New York plunged to $37.75 a barrel on Aug. 24, the lowest intraday level since February 2009. They’ve since averaged $44.99 and haven’t closed below $44 from the start of September. The November contract traded 53 cents higher at $45.27 at 1:17 p.m. Singapore time on Friday.

While U.S. inventories remain abundant, the nation's production has slipped in seven of the past eight weeks and drillers have idled more than half their rigs. Those cuts will help stabilize prices, Rogers said.

“Some companies are stopping drilling and production is actually going down in the U.S. now,” the chairman of Rogers Holdings said. “Shell is canceling some drilling. All of these mean supplies will be going down in the future.”

Rogers also said he was watching Glencore Plc, whose shares fell by a record on Monday in London amid concern over its debt load. The commodity producer and trader has since recovered some of the near 30 percent loss after the company moved to reassure investors and as banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the slump left the stock undervalued. Citigroup wrote that management should consider taking the company private.

Agriculture Opportunity

“It might be a good trade if you go public at a high price and you buy it back at a depressed price,” Rogers said, referring to Glencore. “That might be a wise thing to do. On the other hand, they have a lot of debt so I don’t know if they could do that.”

With the Bloomberg Commodity Index, a measure of returns from 22 components, plunging to the lowest level since 1999 in August, Rogers also sees opportunities for investors in other raw materials.

“Agriculture is probably where the best opportunities are,” he said. “I’m not buying rice and sugar at the moment but some of these things are down a lot from their all time highs. There's potential opportunities out there.”

- Source, The Star Online

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Jim Rogers: Mideast Turmoil Could Lead to War

International investor Jim Rogers warns that Mideast turmoil could easily escalate into a war, which would force a sea-change in today’s investing landscape.

“The whole Middle East situation is unbelievable. I cannot think of many times in history where you have so much just pure, pure chaos by so many people," he told

"It’s not as though there are one or two people making mistakes in the Middle East, there must be a dozen people making mistakes in the Middle East, and unfortunately, they are coming together more and more,” he said.

“It looks like it could end in a very, very bad way for all of us,” he said.

“Wars start when bureaucrats make mistakes and then other bureaucrats react to those mistakes and then next thing you know, you have eight or ten bureaucrats sending 18 year old kids to kill each other, and it’s very worrisome what’s happening,” he said.

“War is not good for anything, anything at all, except commodities. I’m not going to say buy commodities because you don’t want to start a war, but if there’s going to be a war, it usually means commodity prices go higher,” he said.

And would military conflict be a way to divert attention from crumbling economies and the lawmakers responsible?

“It is true that throughout history, war has been declared by politicians or bureaucrats have used war to distract people from other problems. I’m not sure that it’s a conscious act, they sit down and say ‘Ah, we’ve got a problem, so let’s start a war,’ or whether it just happens naturally, but in either case, there is no question at all that this is distracting a lot of us from the fact that the economy is not doing well,” he said.

Rogers is utilizing a shelter-in-place investment theology.

“I’m sitting and watching, not doing much of anything,” he said. “I would think that the market should be going down, because we’ve had a six-year run with virtually no corrections in the United States and therefore most of the world. I’ve bought some Russian shares recently; not much. Bought a few shares in Africa recently, not much.”

He also is uncertain just how much of a haven gold will be.

“I own some gold. I don’t think that’s what’s going to be the safe haven at the moment; it could be, I mean, if war breaks out, of course, a lot of people are going to flee into gold, and I’ll be buying more gold at $1,500 or you pick the number, and happy to get it.”
- Source, News Max