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Jun 22, 2015

CMI | Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on June 22, 2015.

Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York

Monday, June 22, 2015


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$1,185.90 -$17.50 $1,187.10 $1,205.70 $1,318.65


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$16.18 +$0.04 $16.12 $17.08 $20.95


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$1,062.20 -$26.90 $1,090.90 $1,150.10 $1,459.00


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$697.70 -$11.90 $736.70 $785.90 $817.00

Gold/Silver Ratio


U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba Have Substantial Room for Growth: U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service Press Release - June 22, 2015.

U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba Have Substantial Room for Growth

June 22, 2015 International Agricultural Trade Reports
Chart illustrates the decline of the U.S. market share in Cuba between FY2005 and FY2014.   In FY2009 the U.S. was the largest exporter of agricultural products to Cuba, commanding more than 40% of the total market.  As of FY2014, the U.S. has nearly 15%
Two pie charts demonstrate the changes in U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba – comparing FY2005 with FY2014.   In FY2005, Poultry, Meat and Products accounted for 20% of total exports to Cuba, followed by Wheat at 16% and Corn at 15%.  In FY2014, Poultry,
Bar Chart comparing agricultural exports to Cuba by the U.S. verses those by the rest of the world.  The chart indicates that the U.S. is far behind in total exports.  For FY 2014, the U.S. exported $300 million worth of agricultural products compared to
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Since the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) was implemented in 2000, the United States has exported nearly $5 billion worth of agricultural products to Cuba. These exports have been supported by the close geographical proximity of the United States to Cuba and the island’s strong demand for U.S. agricultural products. The United States has typically been the largest supplier to Cuba and has had the highest market share of the island’s imports in nine out of the last 11 fiscal years. Recently, however, U.S. market share has declined due to increased competition, especially from countries able to provide export credits to the Cuban import authorities. But with the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba now underway, potential reforms could help support U.S. competitiveness, increase total U.S. agricultural export value, improve U.S. market share, and benefit both U.S. exporters and Cuban consumers.

Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Under TSRA, agricultural products have been among the few goods allowed to be legally exported to Cuba under the longstanding U.S. embargo (medical supplies are the other exemption), and U.S. producers have taken advantage of that opportunity to the extent possible.  Prior to the passage of TSRA in 2000, U.S. law had prevented sales of any agricultural commodities to Cuba since the early 1960s.
U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba totaled $300 million in FY 2014, comprising 16 percent of Cuba’s $1.9 billion in agricultural imports. U.S. exports included $148 million of poultry meat, making Cuba the eighth-largest export market for U.S. poultry. U.S. soybean meal shipments were the second-largest category, totaling $75 million in FY 2014. Together poultry and soybean meal accounted for nearly 75 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba, up from just 25 percent a decade ago. Soybeans and corn, valued at nearly $30 million each, and feeds and fodders (including dried distillers grains), valued at $14 million, rounded out the top five agricultural export categories. Taken together, these five categories comprised 98 percent of U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba in FY 2014.
While U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba peaked at a record $658 million in FY 2008, the significant jump in value from the previous year was largely attributable to severe weather and high commodity prices. In 2008, Cuba was hit by three major hurricanes and two tropical storms that caused severe crop damage and necessitated a significant increase in imports. While high commodity prices drove U.S. agricultural export values up substantially in FY 2008, export volumes increased by only 11 percent. As commodity prices eased and Cuban agricultural production rebounded, U.S. exports returned to their pre-record levels but fell further in succeeding years due to competition from other suppliers.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Press Release - June 22, 215:

Operating Policy
Statement Regarding Term Reverse Repurchase Agreements
June 22, 2015
The Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been working internally and with market participants on operational aspects of tri-party reverse repurchase agreements (RRPs) to ensure that this tool will be ready to support the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The Federal Reserve continues to enhance operational readiness and increase its understanding of the impact of RRPs through technical exercises.
In further support of its objectives, the FOMC instructed the Desk to examine how term RRP operations might work as an additional supplementary tool to help control the federal funds rate. In support of this goal, on March 17, the FOMC approved a resolution authorizing the Desk to conduct a series of term RRP operations to span each quarter-end through January 29, 2016.

DealBook P.M. Edition on June 22, 2015: Greece and Its Creditors Show Signs of Headway in Debt Talks.

Monday, June 22, 2015
Jean-Claude Juncker, right, the European Commission president, gave Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece a friendly slap on Monday at an impromptu joint news conference.
Greece and Its Creditors Show Signs of Headway in Debt Talks Eurozone finance ministers sounded positive after Athens submitted new proposals that would raise some taxes and cut costs by adjusting pensions.
NYT » | As Greece Deadline Looms, European Central Bank Plays Key Role | Wall St. Is Higher on Greek Breakthrough Hopes
From left, Jamie Lee, Jamie Foster Lee, Lexi Lee embracing Cardinal Dolan, Izzy Lee, Justin Sullivan, Beth Lee, and Jamie Dimon.
Jimmy Lee of JPMorgan Chase Remembered for Shaping an Industry Mr. Lee, who died on Wednesday, was responsible for securing some of the bank's most prominent deals.

U.S. stocks end higher; Nasdaq, Russell 2000 hit records: Wall Street at Close Report by MarketWatch on June 22, 2015:

U.S. stocks end higher; Nasdaq, Russell 2000 hit records

Anora Mahmudova, Sara Sjolin
Small-cap index Russell 2000 and the Nasdaq Composite led the gains on Wall Street Monday, ending the session at record levels. The main benchmarks posted moderate gains, as headline news on Greece and potential agreement between its lenders to avert a default spurred a global equity rally.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.72%   36.97 points, or 0.7% to 5,153.97, the highest level ever. Biotechnology stocks led the gains. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB, +1.50%   rose 1.5%.

The Russell 2000 RUT, +0.60%  gained 6.78 points, or 0.5%, to 1,292.32.
The S&P 500 SPX, +0.61%  closed 12.86 points, or 0.6%, higher at 2,122.85, only several points below its all-time high reached last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.58%  gained 103.83 points, or 0.6%, to 18,119.78, with 26 of its 30 of its members finishing higher.
Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said it is encouraging to see markets follow through with gains after solid advance last week.

“It appears that the market is driven by headline news and in the absence of economic news or earnings releases, investors react to news from Greece,” Cieszynski said.

“The big question is whether indexes will break out of the range and move higher,” he said.
Greek hopes: The Greek government pitched a last-ditch reform package to its creditors on Sunday. Eurozone finance ministers, meeting in Brussels, hailed the proposal as a step forward. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs meetings of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, said the proposal could be the basis for a deal later this week.
See also: What investors don’t know about Greece could hurt them.
Greece’s Athex Composite Index GD, +9.00%  jumped 9% to 749.17 on the deal hopes. The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF GREK, +8.29%  added 8.5%. See also:Decision day for Greece—analysts upbeat on deal prospects
Some analysts, however, expect Greece to exit the euro.
Sharon Stark, market strategist at D.A. Davidson, said in emailed comments: “We continue to anticipate a Grexit, albeit at a measured pace beginning with a default on the debt, haircuts on collateral pledged as part of the Emergency Loan Assistance program, and eventually capital controls to stem the outflow of funds from Greece. This event may then force Greece to exit the Eurozone, but not the EU, and revert to the drachma and begin the painful process of rebuilding the country.”
U.S. data: In an encouraging sign for the housing market, sales of existing homes rose in May, hitting fastest pace since November 2009 and rebounding from a drop in April.
Movers and shakers: Shares of Williams Cos. WMB, +25.90%  surged 28% after the natural-gas pipeline giant said Sunday it had rejected an unsolicited buyout offer worth $48 billion, but didn't specify who had made the bid. On Monday, Energy Transfer Equity L.P. ETE, -4.87% said it was bidding $53.1 billion for Williams.
Cigna Corp. CI, +4.73%  jumped 6% after the board of health-care-services company on Sunday rejected a $47.5 billion takeover offer from Anthem Inc. ANTM, +3.62% Anthem shares rose 3.6%, while rival Aetna Inc. AET, +3.21% gained 3.2%.
Fitbit Inc. FIT, +14.03%  soared 14%, extending gains on its third day of trading, after jumping more than 50% on its debut Thursday.

For more on Monday’s notable movers read Movers & Shakers column
Other markets: The dollar index inched higher, while investors dumped government bonds. The yield on a 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to prices rose 11 basis points to 2.37%. Crude oil CLN5, +0.67%  was little-changed, hovering around $60 a barrel, while gold futures GCN5, -1.52%    sold off, dropping to $1,184.70 an ounce.

Asian markets moved solidly higher. China’s mainland market was closed for a holiday, after falling 13% last week in its worst weekly selloff since the financial crisis.

CDFI Fund to Hold National Listening Tour on a Community Development Finance “Framework for the Future”: CDFI Fund Press Release on June 22, 2015.

        CDFI Fund Event -- June 22, 2015Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

CDFI Fund to Hold National Listening Tour on a Community Development Finance “Framework for the Future”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced today a national listening tour to solicit public opinion regarding a new strategic framework for the CDFI Fund. Intended to foster discussion and engagement among local community development leaders and practitioners, the listening tour will be co-hosted by CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan alongside the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City-Denver Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to hear from communities about what we’re doing well and what the CDFI Fund can do better to support economic growth and access to capital in areas that need it most,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “The CDFI Fund views this listening tour as a unique opportunity for constructive dialogue to support the growth and success of CDFIs and the communities that they serve.”
The CDFI Fund is particularly interested in hearing input on the following:
  • Program Effectiveness: Are the CDFI Fund’s programs working optimally for communities?  What should be improved and how?
  • Access: What more can the CDFI Fund do to reach communities that need CDFIs but are either not being served by them or have limited access to CDFI Fund support?
  • Innovation and Scaling: How can the CDFI Fund best support CDFIs to continue to innovate?  What will it take to scale solutions that are known to work?
  • Customer Service: What works well at the CDFI Fund and what needs to be improved?
  • Data:  How can the CDFI Fund support the use of data to strengthen the industry and increase its impact?  
  • Blind Spots: What are the issues that should be on the CDFI Fund’s radar screen but are not?
The CDFI Fund will use input from the sessions to help develop strategic objectives that will guide the CDFI Fund over the course of the next several years.
Participants at each session will include community development experts, thought leaders, and practitioners, including speakers from the Federal Reserve Banks and local CDFIs.
The listening sessions will be highly interactive. The CDFI Fund specifically encourages the participation of certified CDFIs, community development trade groups and associations, foundations, local and state government entities, and others interested in community economic development.
For those unable to attend the listening sessions in person, the CDFI Fund has created an online survey, available at The survey responses will be combined with feedback from the listening session participants and will inform the CDFI Fund’s development of strategic objectives.
Listening Tour Dates and Locations
Session 1: San Francisco, CaliforniaDate:      Tuesday, July 7, 2015Time:     9 a.m. – 1 p.m. PDTLocation: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco101 Market StreetSan Francisco, CA 94105Registration Deadline is 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
Session 2: Denver, ColoradoDate:      Wednesday, July 8, 2015Time:     9 a.m. – 1 p.m. MDTLocation: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City-Denver Branch1020 16th StreetDenver, CO 80202Registration Deadline is 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
Session 3: Chicago, IllinoisDate:      Friday, July 10, 2015Time:     9 a.m. – 1 p.m. CDTLocation: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago230 South LaSalle StreetChicago, Illinois 60604-1413Registration Deadline is 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.
Session 4: New York, New YorkDate:      Friday, July 17, 2015Time:     9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDTLocation: Federal Reserve Bank of New York33 Liberty StreetNew York, NY 10045Registration Deadline is 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 7, 2015.
Session 5: Atlanta, GeorgiaDate:      Thursday, August 6, 2015Time:     9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDTLocation: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta1000 Peachtree Street NEAtlanta, GA 30309-4470Registration Deadline is 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 30, 2015.
Registration Information
Registration is required and will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis, with a total of 50 seats available per session. All sessions will be held at federally-secured location. Accordingly, a government-issued ID will be required in order to gain entry to the facility.

FRB Press Release - June 22, 2015: Federal Reserve System begins 2015 Census of Finance Companies

Press Release

Release Date: June 22, 2015

For release at 3:00 p.m. EDT

The Federal Reserve System will begin its 2015 Census of Finance Companies in June, as part of a larger effort to paint a complete and continuing picture of this important sector of the U.S. economy.
"The Federal Reserve System conducts this census to collect basic information on the types and volume of financing provided by nonbank financial institutions to the U.S. economy," Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen said in a letter to prospective census participants.

Export-Import Bank Approves Financing for Export of 144 American-Made Bridges to Sub-Saharan Africa: Export-Import Bank of the U.S. Press Release - June 22, 2015.
Export-Import Bank Approves Financing for Export of 144 American-Made Bridges to Sub-Saharan Africa
Transaction will support jobs in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and several other states
Washington, D.C. – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Chairman and President Fred Hochberg announced today in New Castle, Delaware that the Bank will finance the sale of Acrow Corporation of America’s modular steel bridge components to the Road Development Agency in the Republic of Zambia (ROZ). EXIM will guarantee a $73 million commercial loan to facilitate the export of 144 steel bridges. This action is expected to support approximately 200 jobs at Acrow’s manufacturing facility in Milton, Pennsylvania along with thousands more in Delaware, New Jersey and several other states.

Buffalo bill collecting: FTC Business Blog - June 22, 2015.

Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center Blog Updates from the Federal Trade Commission

By Lesley Fair

Beef on weck, frozen custard – and one of the largest debt collection industries in the U.S. Those are some of the things Buffalo is known for. That’s why the FTC kicked off its continuing Debt Collection Dialogue in Buffalo on June 15, 2015. Hosted with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the event brought law enforcers, industry representatives, and consumer advocates together to talk about recent enforcement actions, consumer complaints, and compliance issues. If you couldn’t make it, here’s our informal take on what attendees talked about.
Read more >

India's central bank opposes letting commercial banks count gold as money: GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH -June 22, 2015.

India's central bank opposes letting commercial banks count gold as money

Submitted by cpowell on Monday, June 22, 2015RBI Opposes Finance Ministry Plan to Use Gold Deposits as Bank CRR
From The Times of India, Mumbai Monday, June 22, 2015

NEW DELHI -- The Centre's attempt at monetising gold lying with Indian households may face a roadblock with the Reserve Bank of India writing to the finance ministry opposing a plan to use gold deposits for bank Cash Reserve Ratios.

FDIC Press Release - Joint Release - June 22, 2015: Agencies Issue Flood Insurance Rule


Press Release

Joint Release Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Farm Credit Administration
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
National Credit Union Administration
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
For Immediate Release June 22, 2015

Agencies Issue Flood Insurance Rule

Five federal regulatory agencies today announced the approval of a joint final rule that modifies regulations that apply to loans secured by properties located in special flood hazard areas. The final rule implements provisions of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) relating to the escrowing of flood insurance payments and the exemption of certain detached structures from the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement. The final rule also implements provisions in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (the Biggert-Waters Act) relating to the force placement of flood insurance.
In accordance with HFIAA, the final rule requires regulated lending institutions to escrow flood insurance premiums and fees for loans secured by residential improved real estate or mobile homes that are made, increased, extended or renewed on or after January 1, 2016, unless the loan qualifies for a statutory exception. In addition, certain regulated lending institutions are exempt from this escrow requirement if they have total assets of less than $1 billion. Further, the final rule requires institutions to provide borrowers of residential loans outstanding as of January 1, 2016, the option to escrow flood insurance premiums and fees. The final rule includes new and revised sample notice forms and clauses concerning the escrow requirement and the option to escrow.
The final rule includes a statutory exemption from the requirement to purchase flood insurance for a structure that is a part of a residential property if that structure is detached from the primary residence and does not also serve as a residence. However, under HFIAA, lenders may nevertheless require flood insurance on the detached structures to protect the collateral securing the mortgage.
Lastly, the final rule includes the Biggert-Waters Act provisions on force placement. These provisions clarify that regulated lending institutions have the authority to charge a borrower for the cost of force-placed flood insurance coverage beginning on the date on which the borrower's coverage lapses or becomes insufficient. The final rule also stipulates the circumstances under which a lender must terminate force-placed flood insurance coverage and refund payments to a borrower.
This final rule does not address the private flood insurance provisions in the Biggert-Waters Act. The agencies plan to address these provisions in a separate rulemaking.
The final rule is being issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The agencies expect the final rule to be published in the Federal Register shortly.
Media Contacts:
Federal Reserve Board Susan Stawick 202-452-2955
FCA Mike Stokke 703-883-4056
FDIC David Barr 202-898-6992
NCUA Ben Hardaway 703-518-6333
OCC Stephanie Collins 202-649-6870
FDIC: PR-52-2015

BEA News Release - June 22, 2015: State Quarterly Personal Income, 1st quarter 2014 - 1st quarter 2015

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release today: 

State personal income grew 0.9 percent on average in the first quarter of 2015, after growing 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income grew in 46 states and growth accelerated in 15 of those states. The fastest growth, 1.3 percent, was in Florida. Personal income fell in four states, with the largest decline, 1.2 percent, in Iowa. The national price index for personal consumption expenditures, fell 0.5 percent in the first quarter, after falling 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
The full text of the release on BEA's Web site can be found at

European Markets at Close Report by CNBC on June 22, 2015: Europe closes sharply higher on Greece hopes.

Europe closes sharply higher on Greece hopes

Holly Ellyatt, Alexandra Gibbs
European equities closed sharply higher on Monday, as a deal between Greece and its creditors looked to be edging closer.

It comes as crucial meetings of euro zone leaders and finance ministers to discuss new reforms offered by Greece to its creditors continued.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed around 2.2 to 2.3 percent higher Monday, with all sectors trading in positive territory. Greece's main stock index was the strongest performer in Europe, closing 9 percent higher on the heightened expectations of an agreement.
U.S. stocks also rallied, as investors stayed optimistic on a deal between Greece and its creditors.


FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6825.67
115.22 1.72% 764845776
DAX DAX Index 11460.50
420.40 3.81% 119290885
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 4998.61
183.24 3.81% 176270576
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 11368.20
423.90 3.87% 353604689
On Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented a new reforms package to its international creditors, in what appears to be a last-ditch effort to avoid a debt default. Greece must pay the International Monetary Fund, of the country's senior creditors, a repayment of 1.5 billion euros on June 30.
The move comes after five months of deadlock over what reforms that Greece must implement if it is to receive a final tranche of financial aid from creditors.
On Monday, major bourses reacted positively to a press conference by the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. He said the new Greek proposals were "broad and comprehensive," and formed a basis to restart the talks. Dijsselbloem went on to add that he was hoping for a deal later this week.
The French CAC and the German DAX closed sharply higher, both up around 3.8 percent. The U.K. benchmark FTSE 100 index closed around 1.7 percent higher.
Read MoreEurogroup meeting ends: 'Agreement later this week'

Individual stocks

French telecom company Bouygues was one of the best performers in Europe, closing up around 13 percent after European telecom company Altice said it had made an offer to buy the company. Altice ended the day up at 12.7 percent.

Shares of Thorntons jumped over 40 percent on Monday, after Italian chocolate maker Ferrero offered to buy the chocolate company.
Sky was one of the FTSE 100's best performers, with its shares closing up 3.5 percent after The Telegraph newspaper reported that the Murdoch family had rebuffed offers for its stake in the company, prompting speculation that the family could be preparing to up its holdings.