Monday, February 21, 2011

Protests break out in Djibouti

For those who are not familiar with Djibouti it is located at the most strategic pinch point in the gulf of Aden (see map below). The US recently completed building a Naval base in the capital, from which they can patrol the Gulf Aden protecting their interests in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. Of course it also means the US has direct and quick access to both sides of the Suez Canal to ensure it always remains open (to the US at least).

US naval base in Djibouti (image courtesy of google maps)
Map of Djibouti (image courtesy of google maps)

Silver futures at record high, cross Rs 50,000 a kg

From Business Today:

Continuing its record-breaking spree on the back of firming trend overseas, silver futures prices shot up over 2 per cent to hit a new high of Rs 50,699 per kg.

Record levels in the spot market on rising demand, driven by the ongoing marriage season too, influenced the white metal prices at futures trade in New Delhi.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange counter, silver for delivery in September contract climbed Rs 1,043, or 2.10 per cent to trade at Rs 50,699 per kg - a level never seen before - with a turnover of four lots.

The silver for delivery in March contract also rallied by Rs 982, or 1.82 per cent, to trade at a record high of Rs 49,420 per kg, with a turnover of one lot.

Globally, silver in the Asian region, gained 1.4 per cent, to trade at $33.10, the fresh high since 1980.

Analysts said firming trend in precious metals in global markets, as spreading unrest in West Asia boosted their appeal as a safe-haven asset, buoyed the trading sentiment at futures trade in the national capital.

Meanwhile, at Chennai bullion market, silver prices rallied by Rs 400 to trade at record high of Rs 50,065 per kg in the opening trade.

Silver moves past old high

From Arabian Money:

A week ago and you could have made a good argument for the silver price being at a double top. And typically after confirming a previous high, a downturn would be in prospect.

But not after prices jumped to $32.60 by the end of the week, comfortably placing silver in a fresh stage of upward momentum.

It is not hard to reason why. There is the weakening dollar. Geopolitical upsets like the Arab World’s revolution in Egypt and its knock-on impact on Bahrain. Or the US budget deficit.

Hard assets

The rush to hard assets continues. Some observers will not be convinced of the silver price break out until it is confirmed by gold which has been a laggard in this rally and still not above its recent high of $1,430.

That confirmation should not be long in coming. UAE gold sellers report shortages of gold in January as canny local investors bought at lower prices. Mints around the world are having to ration coins.

Metal analysts see silver now heading to $36 before any further correction. But silver has always been volatile. It does, however, almost always outperform gold on the upside as well as on the on

SIlver hits new post 1980 high of US$33

The US is becoming a Police State

Libyan protest gain the upper hand - Tony Blair must be disappointed

From AlJazeera:

Anti-government protesters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi have reportedly seized army vehicles and weapons amid worsening turmoil in the African nation.

A local witness said that a section of the troops had joined the protesters on Sunday as chaos swept the streets of the city, worst hit by the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year old rule.

Meanwhile, there were reports of clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters around the Green Square in the capital, Tripoli.

"We are in Tripoli, there are chants [directed at Gaddafi]: 'Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you're a man," a protester told Al Jazeera on phone.

There were also reports of protesters heading to Gaddafi's compound in the city of Al-Zawia near Tripoli, with the intention of burning the building down.

Protests have also reportedly broken out in other cities, including Bayda, Derna, Tobruk and Misrata - and anti-Gaddafi graffiti adorns the walls of several cities.

The Warfala tribe, one of Libya's biggest tribes, has reportedly joined the anti-Gaddafi protests.

Mohamed, a doctor from Al Jalaa hospital in Benghazi, confirmed to Al Jazeera that members of the military had sided with the protesters.

"We are still receiving serious injuries, I can confirm 13 deaths in our hospital. However, the good news is that people are cheering and celebrating outside after receiving news that the army is siding with the people," he said.

"But there is still a brigade that is against the demonstrators. For the past three days demonstrators have been shot at by this brigade, called Al-Sibyl brigade."

The witness reports came on a day in which local residents told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died in days of unrest in Benghazi alone. The New York-based Human Rights Watch on Sunday put the countrywide death toll at 173. The rights group said its figure was "conservative".

An excellent Keiser Report from July 2010 in which Max & Stacey discuss Tony Blair and Libya, also in the second half of the show Max talks to analyst Ned Naylor-Leyland of Cheviot Asset Management about the silver market. Watch out for my question that Max posed to Ned on my behalf re the silver to gold ratio, when asked the ratio was 65, it is now 42.5, and the price of silver was approx. $17/oz, now it is over $32/oz.

Robert Fisk - "Arabs have lost their fear"

"When people have nothing to lose, they lose it" ~ Gerald Celente, 2010