- China's Explosive GDP Growth May Force Government to Raise Yuan and Interest Rates
- Obama Gains Ground on China Trade Policies as Hu Refuses to Rule Out Floating Yuan
- Washington – Not China – Is the Real Manipulator Here
- China Auto Sales Off to a Strong Start
- Foreign Markets Outshine U.S. on Investors' Increasing Appetite for Risk
- China May Let Yuan Appreciate Despite First Trade Deficit in Six Years
- Geithner's China Jaunt May Signal Easing of Tensions on Yuan
- How to Protect Yourself – And Even Profit – if Foreign Creditors "Strike" U.S. Treasuries
- Pacifying the Panda: U.S. Companies Must Take a New Approach to China
- Buy, Sell or Hold: BHP Billiton is Poised to Pick Up Big Gains on the Back of a Global Commodities Bull
- China, Europe Lapping the United States in the Clean Energy Race
- China Manufacturing Data Could Presage a Rising Yuan
- Historic Agreement Ends 40 Year Old Iron Ore Benchmark as Miners Get Short-Term Pricing Contracts
- Indonesia Catching China's Eye
- Despite the Near-Record Run in U.S. Stocks, Oil, Commodities and China Will be the Long-Term Winners
- Money Morning Mailbag: The Capital Wave That Could Blunt the U.S. Recovery
Well, in the global world of 2010, skill and technology are " two-a-penny" ubiquitous in an emerging-markets world in which billions of industrious people are competing against one another. In this new reality in today's world, natural resources are the key to global wealth.
And Australia is a prime beneficiary of that new reality.
I have been investing in emerging markets for a long time, and have found that the news services often pick up these kinds of comments from random officials that are then contradicted a day later by some other random official.
And that was the case this time, too.
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Chinaoil- the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp's (CNPC) trading unit- shipped two cargoes totaling 600,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran in exchange for $55 million, according to Reuters. The cargoes were Chinaoil's first direct sales to Iran since at least January 2009, according to Reuters data.
Additionally, Unipec- the trading arm of the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) (NYSE ADR: SNP)- agreed to sell 250,000 barrels of gasoline to Iran.
The sales couldn't come at a worse time for the United States. Washington has spent months lobbying the international community to tighten sanctions on Iran, which is openly expanding its uranium enrichment capacity.
That number is expected to double by 2028, and obesity is just one health issue in a densely polluted nation that finds itself battling a growing list of ailments.
So it's no surprise that China's pharmaceutical market has been surging at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16% -- the fastest pace in the world, according to research by market-intelligence leader IMS Health Inc. (NYSE: RX). IMS Health estimates that by 2020 the Chinese market for pharmaceuticals will be $110 billion, second only to the United States.
As the United States continues to spar with China on currency issues and Greece has yet to make substantial strides toward recovery, U.S. taxpayers and investors fear that our country is headed for worse economic times. Despite the fact there's a financial reform bill on the horizon, there is overwhelming doubt that the government will implement as much of a financial system overhaul that's needed.
Here are some of the more passionate views on the government mistakes that caused a U.S. financial quagmire, threatening the country's future stability.
And so are the institutional investors I've run into during my latest investment-research visit to this country. These institutional players want to lock up some valuable land parcels before 2020. That's the date by which 500 million Chinese citizens are expected to have moved into China's cities as part of the greatest urban migration ever recorded.
You can do the math: We're talking about a group that's 1.6 times the entire U.S. population ... moving from China's countryside to its cities in the next 10 years.
After Obama urged China to move toward a "more market-oriented exchange rate," Hu told him that his country wouldn't yield to "external pressure" in deciding when to adjust the yuan, Bloomberg News reported.
Obama also expressed "his concern" about some "market- access barriers in China," Jeff Bader, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council, told reporters after the meeting, which was held in conjunction with a gathering of world leaders in Washington to discuss nuclear security.
The Obama administration's assertion that China is artificially keeping the yuan undervalued to gain a global competitive advantage isn't just misguided: It actually demonstrates that Washington lacks even a basic understanding of global economics. Given that the same U.S. leaders who have been pushing to hang this manipulator label on China and impose sanctions are the same ones who tried to end the financial crisis by creating a river of debt that will haunt us for years, I can't say that I'm surprised.
As the U.S. argument goes, pegging its currency to the dollar gives China a distinct advantage when it comes to less-expensive manufacturing and a strong export market. The implication is that somehow this is negatively impacting our economy, or - in a variation of the same logic - holding back our recovery. Washington points to the massive trade deficits we regularly run with that country as evidence of China's currency-market wrongdoing.
In reality, China's pegged currency has done two things. First, it's allowed the United States to keep its inflation rate at a much lower (and more-manageable) level than it should have been in view of the $14 trillion in debt that this country has taken on.
And, second, it's allowed China to fuel its own stimulus package while at the same time assuming a meaningful role in the ongoing global recovery.
Some 3.52 million cars were sold in China in the January-March period, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The strong showing was partly the result of weak 2009 sales but it was enough to convince carmakers to raise their regional sales forecasts.
General Motors Corp., which leans heavily on its joint venture Shanghai General Motors Co. Ltd., said it would hit its target of 2 million sales in China this year, putting the company four years ahead of schedule.
The stars of the global capital show this month, though, have been markets in China and Europe, as they shook off their multi-month torpor to score big wins. With a scorching 6% advance in the past two weeks, ishares FTSE Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE: FXI) nosed up to log a +5.5% gain for the year after being negative for three months. And the ishares S&P Europe 350 Index (NYSE: IEV) rose 1%, putting it at flat for the year after malingering below zero.
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Rising commodity prices probably led imports to outpace exports by $390 million in March after a $7.6 billion trade surplus the previous month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 26 economists.
Nevertheless, a change in China's currency policy is "imminent", and may occur in the next few weeks, Ben Simpfendorfer, a Hong Kong- based economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (NYSE ADR: RBS), said Friday on Bloomberg Television.
The unexpected meeting was arranged on-the-fly after Geithner's scheduled trip to India, and may be a sign that both countries are seeking to defuse the currency issue ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's trip to Washington next week.
The move follows the Treasury Department's decision last weekend to delay a decision on whether to label China a "currency manipulator."
"[China is] becoming more open to the world, and with that, you're going to see the [yuan] take on a broader role internationally," Geithner said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Mumbai as he finished preparations for the previously unscheduled visit to China. "That's a healthy, necessary adjustment."