90 seconds at 9 am: Risk off as commodities weaken; oil inventories rise; gold falls; AUD falls; US durable goods orders rise

Here's our summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that commodity prices fell in overnight trading as risk was shunned by markets.

Our dollar fell 50 bps to US$0.8160, but the falls were sharper for the Aussie and Canadian dollars. The change in fortunes in Australia has them worrying about whether they can actually record a budget surplus this year.

Gold was down US$30/ounce, and oil also took a tumble. In fact, the latest release of oil inventory data show strong rises in the US and France, and a slew of countries are considering releasing stocks from their strategic supplies.

Stocks fell in the US, down sharply by almost 1% to just over the 13,070 level in late trading. But that was despite a relatively positive durable goods orders report in the US - up 2.2% in February and a sharp recovery from a weak January result.

Meanwhile, in a move that underscores the changing fortunes of the world order, China has said it is keen to contribute to a fund to bail out the euro zone, and showing a growing interest in playing a bigger role in the global economy as its financial strength grows. Europe requires a bailout package of US$1 trillion, for which the international community needs to pitch in with US$500 billion. Russia and Brazil have also signalled they will help, and New Zealand will likely participate through the IMF.

Today we get the latest readings on business confidence, and we will be reading the tea leaves on the latest results from the world-wide operations of NZ richest man - or is that, NZ's most indebted man - Graeme Hart and his Reynolds and Pactiv operations, and how they are handling their enormous debt load of junk bond funding.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Rebalancing Europe
Audio of BuBa president Weidmann speaking at Chatham house
Re ESM "just like the tower of Babel the wall of money will never reach heaven...all the money we put on the table will not buy us a lasting solution to the crisis"
From 19 mins onwards re central bank intervention could be for Draghi's benefit 

Seems that Gerry is not happy having to fork out for a regular 6 month warrant on his heap...about time the theft came to an end....distance covered is a more accurate way to judge when a check is needed....
We shall see whether this is just more hot air escaping out the leaky Beehive roof....or not!

Not really as corrosion is time based and not distance based, also I suspect things like brake hoses etc is more time than distance .  However 6months seems a little frequent when the UK is 12months....maybe cars to ten-twelve years or so would be OK for 12months....

I like the Queensland method with no WOF except for when you buy and sell a car. 
They have mobile mechanical units that can form a check point anywhere and randomly stop vehicles for a check. If they find something then your car remains there and you catch a taxi. I suspect the fines are tough enough to make it something the average person will try to avoid. The bogans that don't keep their cars up to scratch essentially have them written off the road.

I'll tell you how Rank Group is handling their "enormous debt load of junk bond funding". The majority of the debt is locked in on very low interest rates (even junk debt is on low rates in the US - say 5 or 6%) for an average facility term of around 5 to 7 years. This gives them ample time to position themselves for refinancing. There is no impending refinancing risk, as they are exploiting the current low interest rate environment and locking that in for the long term, against very recession-proof packaging business cashflows. Brilliant really. They will go from strength to strength in our opinion.

US inventory stockpiles have been racing away, 23 months of consecutive rises. There had better be some demand for this inventory soon, otherwise.......

Saudi oil minister 2012:

''The bottom line is that Saudi Arabia would like to see a lower price. It would like to see a fair and reasonable price that will not hurt the global economic recovery, especially in emerging and developing countries, that will generate a good return for producing nations, and that will attract greater investment in the oil industry.
It is clear that geopolitical tensions in the region, and concerns over supply, are helping to keep prices high. Yet fundamentally the market remains balanced. It is the perceived potential shortage of oil keeping prices high – not the reality on the ground. There is no lack of supply. There is no demand which cannot be met. Total commercial stocks for OECD nations are within target, and there is at least 57 days forward cover, enough to handle almost any eventuality''
Saudi oil minister 2004:
.. “Saudi Arabia now has 1.2 trillion barrels of estimated reserve. This estimate is very conservative. Our analysis gives us reason to be very optimistic. We are continuing to discover new resources, and we are using new technologies to extract even more oil from existing reserves,” [Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi] said.
Naimi said Saudi Arabia is committed to sustaining the average price of $25 per barrel set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. He said prices should never increase to more than $28 or drop under $22. “This is a fair price to consumers and producers. But, really, Saudi Arabia and OPEC has limited control on world markets,” said Al-Naimi. “Prices are driven by other factors: Instability in key oil producing countries; industry struggles to produce specialized gasoline; and the resulting strains on refineries to meet local demand.”
... “Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves are certainly there,” Naimi added. “None of these reserves requires advanced recovery techniques. We have more than sufficient reserves to increase output. If required, we can increase output from 10.5 million barrels a day to 12-15 million barrels a day. And we can sustain this increased output for 50 years or more. There will be no shortage of oil for the next 50 years. Perhaps much longer.”

All those claimed reserves and all that claimed surplus capacity seemingly cant put humpty dumpty together again........

In the next episode of 'don't mention the war (with Iran)', senator Rand Paul mentions that the US government appears to be fumbling its way towards a war with Iran,
Senator Reid now confusingly caught between adding the amendment which codifies that the sanctions have nothing to do with starting a war with Iran, and not allowing the amendment because the bill obviously has nothing to do with starting a war with Iran, as he hastens to point out. It must be hard being a senator, and facing such a conundrum.

Fabulous news for the parasites operating in NZ..
."An international study from 2008 measuring literacy and numeracy on a five-level scale, found 40 per cent of New Zealand's working population were below the minimum level required to participate in a modern economy."

"The jobless rate in the U.S. could drop to as low as 6 percent by the first half of 2013, a bigger decrease than most economists currently project, according to research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York." bloomberg
The real unemployment rate is somewhere in the mid teens and will remain there regardless of the BS and spin.
Pink aliens are expect to land on the Hudson River in a flying saucer any time now. 

LOL....sorry but I feel for mainstreet Americans and this is just a way to shaft them some more IMHO.  I can see the GOP now..."look unemployment will be comeing down the unemployed dont need our help" Obama "Look its comeing down Ive been doing well" what absolute rubbish....meanwhile Americans see few jobs....
So they looked at the past and averaged those onto today.....as since we are coming out (I would dispute that) we should see somewhere around the average they think.   Yet of course others have commented on jobless recoveries now being the normal....I mean wow.....how wonky can you get....

The Crown has asked for jail sentences for the Lombard Finance four (including former justice ministers Sir Douglas Graham and Bill Jefferies), saying they have shown no remorse, did not plead guilty and had offered little reparation.

Excellent, also get them put in with the any chaps whos parents they stole money off....