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Emerging Markets


Why U.S. Natural Gas Companies Are Looking Forward to 2014

Natural gas companies in the United States hope the worst is behind them.

In 2012, natural gas prices plummeted to a two-decade low at below $2 per million BTU. This meant U.S. natural gas lost 87% of its value over a six-and-a-half year period. The low price was thanks to a glut of gas due to newer drilling technologies such as fracking.

How to Profit From Greenland's Rare Earth Metals Bonanza

Greenland is a treasure trove of rare earth metals.

For millennia nearly all of this massive island was buried more than a mile deep in glacial ice, making its rich mineral resources almost impossible to extract.

But in recent years, Greenland's ice has started to retreat, with summer melts becoming more extensive each year.

That has made Greenland's rare earth metals (as well as a variety of more conventional elements, such as iron, nickel and gold) much more accessible — and mining for them far more economically feasible, particularly in its southern tip.

"This is huge; we could be mining this for the next 100 years," Eric Sondergaard, a geologist with the Australian-owned company Greenland Minerals and Energy, told The New York Times. Greenland Minerals and Energy (OTC: GDLNF) controls the vast Kvanefjeld project, estimated to hold 10.5 million tons of rare earth ore.

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Jack Welch on Natural Gas Companies: It's "Like the Internet in 1990"

Without unnecessary regulations, natural gas companies could trigger the next great American century, says Jack Welch.

In an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, Welch explained why he believes an energy-rich and independent America in the 21st century could create a bigger boom in the economy than the Internet did in the late 20th century.

"We have a chance in this country to make this the American century," Welch said. "This gas thing is huge. The gas that we have found is in the first inning – it's like the Internet in 1990. This is the first inning of a great American century."

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The Hottest 2013 Natural Gas Story You've Never Heard

The story for natural gas companies in 2013 is an improving one.

As Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors explained last month, he believes natural gas prices in the U.S. will come back strong next year.

But the natural gas story is not just an American one.

Ask the average energy executive what region he or she is really excited about today and the answer you will get is one that was not even on many companies' radar a few short years ago – and one of which many investors are unaware.

2013 could be the year when investors become aware of the vast potential of the prolific natural gas fields in this region, potential that will be unlocked when gas from those fields is someday turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and sold to the energy-hungry markets of Asia.

I'm talking about the offshore waters of East Africa.

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Why Silver Prices in 2013 Will Continue to Perform

If asked to name the top performing commodity of the past decade, not many would answer silver because of its notorious volatility.

Yet, according to Lloyds TSB, silver prices have delivered the best gains since 2002.

Lloyds data shows that the shiny metal soared 572% over the past decade, beating gold's rise of 428%, which was second best among commodities.

Lloyds said silver beat gold because "[I]n addition to being perceived as a safe haven investment, high demand for industrial uses has also contributed to the strong rise in the price of silver."

The key question for precious metals investors is whether silver will continue to be a good performer in 2013.

Money Morning's Global Resource Specialist Peter Krauth thinks so. He forecasts that silver prices will hit "north of $60 per ounce" by spring.

If his forecast is on target, it bodes well for both holders of silver bullion and coins as well as for holders of ETFs such as the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE Arca: SLV).

Here are five key factors that show why Krauth's forecast for silver prices in 2013 could be right on the money.

Silver Prices in 2013: New Industrial Uses

One positive for silver has to be the aforementioned industrial uses.

At last month's Denver Gold Forum, the CEO of silver producer Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL) Phil Baker made an interesting observation.

He said there was a parallel to what happened to silver usage at the turn of the 20th century to what is happening today. At that time, photography became a major driver of demand of the silver market.

This time though Baker believes it will not be one industry solely driving demand, but a myriad of new users of silver looking to take advantage of the metal's unique properties (such as electrical conductivity) in the electronics and medical fields among others.

Silver's expanding usage in a large number of industries may help to offset the general weakness in the global economy.

Investment Demand for Silver

Another factor favoring silver prices is the continued investment demand for the precious metal from the average person around the world, due in large part to central bank policies.

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This News Out of China Supports Higher Silver Prices in 2013

A new report this week by the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co, an information center on the Chinese metals and industries markets, provided some good news for silver prices.

According to the company, analysts forecast China's silver demand to increase as much as 10% in 2013 from investors looking to preserve their wealth.

In an Oct. 22 Bloomberg News interview, Shi Heqing, an analyst at Beijing Antaike, said silver's demand could increase to 7,700 metric tons next year after incurring a 6% to 8% rise in 2012.

Where's the demand for silver coming from? Around 33% is from jewelry and coins, with the remainder in industrial use for photography, solar and electrical appliances, said Antaike analysts.

This is a record level for Chinese silver demand – and good news for silver investors since China is the world's second-biggest user of the metal.

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2013 Natural Gas Price Forecast: Higher Prices Mean an End to the Bear Market

After a sustained plunge, the 2013 natural gas price forecast shows the six-and-a-half year bear market may be finally coming to an end.

In all, over the course of the current downturn, natural gas prices declined from a high of $15.78 per million btus (mmbtu) in Dec 2005 to a low of $1.90 in April 2012 — a breath-taking nosedive of 88%.

The reason was an enormous supply glut driven largely by major new unconventional shale plays like the Marcellus and the Bakken where hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has revolutionized the industry.

In fact, fracking helped drillers to produce over 24 trillion cubic feet of natural gas last year, with over 70 billion cubic feet coming from the Bakken Shale alone.

These new finds meant the U.S. natural-gas market was flooded with an average of three billion cubic feet more natural gas every day than the United States consumed.

But those days are coming to an end as supply and demand begin to balance out, setting the stage for rising natural gas prices.

In fact, natural gas prices have already rallied to $3.40 per mmbtu, up 79% in just six months

But regardless the day-to-day movements, the long-term outlook for natural gas prices remains bullish, particularly in light of a steady increase in demand.

Here's how investors can profit on the coming rally in natural gas prices.

"It's Like Gold On Steroids"

Gold remains the favorite of precious metal investors, but silver is the metal you want to double down on right now.

After wallowing around in the mid-20s for months, silver prices have shot back over $30 an ounce.

And thanks to some wildly misguided government policies, silver could soon blow through its 2011 high of $50 an ounce, giving investors an easy double.

Even better, thanks to three huge catalysts, silver is primed to make a huge run-up over the next 12-24 months. It will be like investing in "gold on steroids."

Are you ready for $250 silver? Or more to the point, are you ready to profit from it?

In a moment, you'll see how a simple move can help you reap extraordinary profit from silver.

But first, let me show you the three catalysts that will propel silver much, much higher over the coming months and years…

Investing in Emerging Markets: Don't Miss this Reliable Choice

South America, broadly speaking, is a dichotomy for investors.

On one hand, the continent's history is hard to forget. The Argentine currency crisis and Colombia's reputation for nefarious exports are just two black marks on South America's past. A third is a rap sheet littered with leftist, socialist governments with penchants for chasing away foreign investment.

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A Liberty Investor's Guide to Latin America

Words, indeed, are powerful things. As an Englishman in America, my personal favorite is freedom.

It's embodied by those words penned so long ago by a young Thomas Jefferson…

It's the idea that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

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