CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--Groundbreaking changes intended to make the Federal Reserve's interest rate forecasts more transparent did little to alter sentiment in U.S. interest rate futures markets on Tuesday. The first trading day of 2012 was guided instead by investors' desire to put their money to work in the stock market, which diminished demand for the relative safety of contracts tied to U.S. government-guaranteed debt.
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Tuesday, January 3, 2012
When the history books are written, 2011 may go down as the dark ages for hedge funds. Last year was the second-worst year on record for hedge fund performance, according to an index maintained by Eurekahedge, an independent information firm that specializes in hedge fund data.
Greece would adhere to any European Union decision to impose sanctions that restrict oil imports from Iran, an official at Greece’s environment, energy and climate ministry said.
Welcome to 2012, a pivotal year to be sure. For those of you tired of the roller coaster ride we’ve had the past 5 months one thing you can always be sure of: When market participants finally get used to a certain market condition it usually changes. Since everyone has given up on the market getting into a trend, 2012 will likely trend more than not.
The head of Iran’s army warned the U.S. against sending an aircraft carrier back to the Persian Gulf after it passed through the Strait of Hormuz a week ago.
Governments of the world’s leading economies have more than $7.6 trillion of debt maturing this year, with most facing a rise in borrowing costs.
Venezuela will leave 15 tons of gold reserves in banks outside the country, Central Bank president Nelson Merentes said today. Venezuela held about 211 tons of its gold in Europe, Canada and Switzerland before it started repatriating the reserves last year, Merentes said on national radio.
Canada’s dollar may appreciate to a two-month high if it closes above its 100-day moving average against the U.S. currency, according to Bank of America Corp.
Moves by the Federal Reserve to flood the world with dollars are doing little to dent the currency’s value, bolstering the appeal of U.S. assets at a time when the government needs the support of foreign investors the most.
Blackstone Group LP (BX)’s Byron Wien, whose prediction for the U.S. economy and stock market in 2011 proved too optimistic, said oil will slip to $85 a barrel this year and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will exceed 1,400. U.S. economic growth will top 3 percent while the nation’s unemployment rate will drop below 8 percent, Wien, chairman of Blackstone’s advisory services unit, said in his annual “10 Surprises” list published since 1986. Stock indexes in China, India and Brazil will rally at least 15 percent, he said.
Speculators increased wagers (.MMLOSH) on rising commodity prices by the most since August 2010 on signs that sustained economic growth will drive a rebound in raw materials from their first annual slump since the recession.
GENEVA — The president of the Swiss National Bank has come under fire over a currency deal that saw his wife profit handsomely from the central bank's decision to depress the value of the franc — but the bank has decided she did not break its secret rules against insider trading.
Investors shrugged off an unprecedented downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, sending returns on long-term Treasurys to decades-old highs in 2011, as Europe's debt woes, the Federal Reserve's low-rate policy and lackluster U.S. economic growth created a near-perfect environment for bonds.
After a year of swings, the U.S. dollar finished within roughly 3% of where it started the year against most major developed-market currencies.
“The new year seems to be bringing fresh buying into oil and other markets, such as gold and silver” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker in London at Jefferies Bach Ltd. “Commodities will not be held back by Europe as the economic recovery in the U.S. and growth in emerging markets is more important. Iran and Syria are another potential reason for oil to go higher.”
Although the stock market is the first place in which many people think to invest, the U.S. Treasury bond markets arguably have the greatest impact on the economy and are watched the world over.
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